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There is consensus that Punjab CM election cannot be held today: CJPLHC orders vote recount to decide Hamza Shahbaz’s fate.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has moved the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the verdict of Lahore High Court ordering a recount of Chief Minister Punjab election held on April 16 after excluding votes of 25 de-seated lawmakers of PTI.
Three member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing of PTI plea requesting SC to set aside LHC verdict by declaring it illegal and unconstitutional. PTI has also prayed that court suspend the process of recounting till a decision on this plea.
During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that voting cannot be held today at 4pm as an appropriate time is required to hold the polling.
At the outset of the hearing, PTI leader Babar Awan requested the court to grant a seven-day extension before the next Punjab Assembly session for Punjab CM’s election.
He informed the court that all of the PTI lawmakers are not present in Lahore as some have gone to perform Hajj while some are attending family events.
The CJP responded to the request by saying that the lawmakers present in the country should have been able to reach the capital within a day.
It merits mention that LHC, in its verdict stated that the decision by the Supreme Court of not counting votes of defecting members of a political party is squarely applicable to the election of Chief Minister held on 14th April 2022.
“It is an undeniable fact that 25 members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf had voted for Mr. Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz, whereas the party had nominated Mr. Pervaiz Elahi as its candidate.”
The court also directed the Presiding Officer (Deputy Speaker) of the election held on 16th April 2022 to recount votes after excluding 25 votes of the defecting members. As a consequence, if required majority, under Article 130(4), is not secured by any candidate, he shall proceed for second and further polls under its provisos for completing the process of election as required under Article 130(4), unless a candidate is elected by majority votes. Though on recounting as directed, the consequential procedure and effect shall be in accordance with the Constitution.
The court further directed that the session, for this purpose, as originally called by the then Governor shall be resumed on 1st July 2022 (Friday) at 4:00 pm without fail and the session so resumed shall not be prorogued till the election process is completed and Presiding officer intimates the result of elected Chief Minister to the Governor under the Rule 21 and the Governor shall preform his duty, under Article 130(5), of administering oath without any hesitation and by ignoring any apprehension regarding conduct election, at any time before 11:00 am very next day.
The court further said that it cannot ignore the disorder in various sessions of the Provincial Assembly and warned that any attempt of disorder from any quarter shall be taken as contempt of court and shall be proceeded accordingly by this Larger Bench on formal information by any person.