ISLAMABAD The Supreme Court has barred the Advocate General Punjab from appearing before the court as counsel for Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif in his eligibility case and directed the CM Punjab to hire his private counsel in this case. The larger bench of the apex court comprising Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tariq Pervaiz was hearing petition, filed by Shahid Orakzai, challenging the Shahbaz Sharifs eligibility. During the course of the hearing, Advocate General Khawaja Haris appeared before the court on behalf of the CM Shahbaz Sharif. The court objected that he was the advocate of Punjab Government and could not appear in private cases of CM Punjab; therefore, Shahbaz Sharif should hire his private counsel in this case. The court adjourned the hearing for indefinite period. It is relevant to mention here that the petitioner, Shahid Orakzai, contended that Sharif was not entitled to hold the office of chief minister because he had vacated the PP-10 (Rawalpindi) seat and resigned from the PP-48 (Bhakkar) constituency after his election as the chief executive of the province. Without having any seat in the Assembly, Shahbaz could not hold any office, he added. The petitioner said Sharif had contested by-elections from PP-10 (Rawalpindi), PP-48 (Bhakkar), PP-124 (Sialkot) and PP-141 and PP-154 (Lahore). He said that after getting elected unopposed from PP-48 on June 6, 2008, Sharif had become chief minister within five days of the election. He (Shahbaz) then decided to withdraw from the election race from the rest of the constituencies, except PP-10 (Rawalpindi), because I (Orakzai) was the only contestant against him. The petitioner also contended that Article 223 of the Constitution placed a bar on dual-membership of any candidate-elect and any person having succeeded on two seats had to quit one within a month. He said Sharif had contested from another constituency while retaining the office of the chief minister, which contravened constitutional provisions because he knew that there was also a bar on becoming the chief minister for a third term.