Punjab [Pakistan], July 23 (ANI): Pakistan Supreme Court on Saturday allowed Hamza Shahbaz to stay as a 'trustee' chief minister of Punjab till the court resumes hearing of a plea filed by the PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.
A three-member SC bench comprising Pakistan Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhter issued the verbal order during a hearing on PML-Q leader Pervez Elahi's petition challenging Punjab Assembly (PA) Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari's decision on the chief minister's re-election in Hamza's favour a day earlier, the Dawn reported.
In its order after the day-long hearing, the court said that it cannot leave a province without a chief executive and so, "Hamza will continue to work as a trustee chief minister till Monday."
The court also said Hamza is not allowed to work as per the constitution and law during the time period. Supreme Court directed Hamza Shehbaz to exercise only ceremonial powers while restraining him from exercising the absolute powers of the chief minister till Monday.
"The chief minister, Hamza Shehbaz will not use his powers for political gains," it stressed.
The apex court then adjourned the hearing of the plea filed by PML-Q's Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.
The court also ordered Mazari's lawyer and Advocate-General Punjab Irfan Qadir to submit a written response regarding the CM election case, the Dawn reported.
He asked the court for more time and said he wanted to submit a written response. The court granted him time till the next hearing on Monday.
Meanwhile, Elahi's lawyer, Barrister Ali Zafar, requested the court to at least prevent Hamza from forming a cabinet, on which the court said he could form one but it should be as small as possible.
The PML-Q lawyer requested the court to hear the matter tomorrow as well but the court said if the arguments were not completed, the matter would go to Monday anyway so the hearing will be in Islamabad on Monday.
Earlier, the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker failed to appear before the Supreme Court (SC), sending Qadir instead.
Pakistan SC has summoned Mazari at 2:30 pm for citing Article 63A of the Constitution and not counting the votes of defecting lawmakers as well as electing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shahbaz as Punjab Chief Minister.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) filed a petition against Mazari's ruling to reject 10 PML-Q votes in Punjab Chief Minister's elections, media reports said.
The development comes after the Leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) reached Supreme Court (SC) registry in Lahore late at night and submitted a petition against CM Punjab election.
The petition stated that the ruling violated the apex court's decision with regard to the interpretation of Article 63 A of the Constitution and asked the court to annul the ruling.
Earlier, PML-N's Shahbaz was re-elected as the chief minister of Punjab after the votes of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) were rejected by the Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker.
On Friday, Pervaiz Elahi - joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q - received 186 votes, while Hamza Shahbaz got 179 votes. However, 10 votes of PML-Q were cancelled by Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, hence taking the figure to 176.
Following the counting of votes, the deputy speaker, citing Article 63A of the Constitution, rejected ten votes cast by the PML-Q members. As a result, Hamza received 179 votes, while Elahi managed to bag 176 votes.
Hamza Shehbaz took oath as Punjab Chief Minister on Saturday.
This is the second time that Hamza defeated Elahi in the contest for the Punjab CM. Back in April, his oath-taking had been delayed for days with the then-governor, Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, refusing to administer the oath to him. (ANI)