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LHC moved against Speaker Punjab Assembly’s election

LHC moved against Speaker Punjab Assembly’s election

LHC moved against Speaker Punjab Assembly’s election
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LAHORE: The PML-N has challenged the election of Speaker Punjab Assembly in the Lahore High Court, alleging that the polls were not held through secret ballot.

PTI’s Sibtain Khan won the contest for the Punjab Assembly speaker against PML-N candidate Saif-ul-Malook Khokhar who has challenged the results through his lawyer Malik Mansoor Awan.

The petition states that the election process did not fulfill constitutional and legal formalities. It said the election for the speaker is held through a secret ballot and printing serial numbers on the ballot papers violated the legal and constitutional laws.

It urged the court to declare the election of Sibtain Khan as null and void and order re-election of the Speaker Punjab Assembly. The court has approved the petition for hearing. A two-member bench of the LHC will hear the petition on Monday, August 1.

It is pertinent to mention that Sibtain Khan won the election after securing 185 votes while PML-N candidate Saif-ul-Malook Khokhar obtained 175 votes. He was later sworn in as the speaker.

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Four votes were rejected out of the 364 votes cast during the session, which was chaired by Panel of Chairman Wasim Badozai. The rejected votes included three of the Opposition and one of the PTI.

The voting was temporarily halted after the opposition benches alleged foul play. Khokhar raised objections over the serial numbers on the ballot papers and tossed them away. However, polling resumed following which Hamza Shehbaz also cast his vote.

The petition further pointed out that the governor should decide the date for the speaker’s election after the position fell vacant under the Constitution and Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, 1997.

The petition a resolution was passed for suspending the relevant assembly rules, especially the governor’s powers to summon a session for the speaker’s election. He said the panel of chairmen granted the permission in the absence of the speaker and deputy speaker.

It said that the panel of chairmen was from the treasury benches, and thus the resolution for suspending the assembly rules was quickly adopted by treasury members.

The petition further prayed the court to restrain Sibatin from “exercising powers and functions of the speaker” during the pendency of his petition.

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