LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Tuesday issued notice to Election Commission of Pakistan and federal government on a petition challenging election of new prime minster Imran Khan on the ground that every member of the national assembly was constitutionally bound to exercise their right to vote but 69 voters did nothing in this regard.

Advocate Sheikh Zaid Mahmood, a local lawyer, moved the petition through senior lawyer A. K Dogar saying that it was mandatory under 91 (4) of the Constitution that every member of the national assembly must cast his vote to the person nominated for the election of prime minister but practically the situation was different.

The petitioner said two parliamentary parties consisting of 69 members remained sitting in the national assembly but abstained from voting, failed to perform their function of participating in the establishment of the federal government—a constitutional duty.  The chosen representatives of the people cannot abstain from casting the votes, he said.  The petitioner also made PPP and Jamat-i-Islami as respondents in the petition, saying that neither they voted “yes” nor they said “no” which is constitutionally not allowed.

He asked the court to declare that every member of the national assembly must exercise their constitutional duty to elect the leader of the house and chief executive of the state. He further asked the court to declare that Imran Khan, the incumbent prime minister, was elected unconstitutionally due to absence of the votes of the total membership of the national assembly.

In a separate case, the LHC expressed dismay over use of play government by the former Punjab government for construction of range Line Metro Train Project, pondering to refer the matter in question to National Accountability Bureau.

Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi was hearing the petition seeking action against the government authorities for not restoring the play grounds for university students.

As the hearing commenced, the legal advisor of Punjab University said that former vice-chancellor Mujahid Kamran allowed the use of ground for construction of Orange Line project after getting approval from University’s syndicate. GCU’s counsel said  land was given to contractor after a mutual  contract was penned between both sides. The court got furious and remarked that Orange train project has ruined Lahore's beauty.

Justice Qureshi questioned the use of play grounds terming it the sheer violation of the Supreme Court’s order.

“Why the students are being deprived of games?,” the judge asked the government’s counsel.  The judge also warned to freeze the assets of the construction company.  The court directed the construction company to deposit Rs 4 million  in the court and adjourned the hearing.

Petition against Sethi: A writ petition was filed in the Lahore High Court on Tuesday against former PCB Chairman Najam Sethi. Javed Badar, a local citizen, moved the petition against Sethi seeking directives for the government authorities to provide financial details during the tenure of Sethi.  He asked the court to order NAB inquiry into financial affairs of the cricket board.

Rana Sana Ullah’s security: Punjab government gave undertaking to the Lahore High Court that security of the former Punjab Law minister Rana Sana Ullah would not be withdrawn.  A law officer said that the government would provide security to the former law minister.  Rana Sana Ullah said in his petition that he had been receiving threats from different groups. He asked the court to order the government not to withdraw his security.