Lahore High Court.

Lahore High Court in its short order with a 4-1 majority, has directed a re-count of the CM Punjab election that was held on April 16 last month and votes of 25 PTI dissident MPAs will be excluded from this count. In its written order, available with Reporters Diary, Lahore High Court declared the notification of Hamza Shahbaz’s oath and cessation of Usman Buzdar to hold the CM office, illegal and without lawful authority.

As per LHC’s short order, any candidate who will possess the majority in the second round will be declared the Chief Minister of Punjab under article 130(4) of the constitution and now no candidate needs to get the simple majority of 186 votes.

“Notifications dated 30.04.2022, regarding the administration of oath by respondent-Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as Chief Minister and cessation of Mr. Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar to hold the office of Chief Minister are set aside being illegal and without lawful authority. Consequently, Mr. Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar is restored to the office of Chief Minister of Punjab with immediate effect, as he was on said date”, reads written short order.

According to short written order, in the interest of the people of Punjab, under the de facto doctrine, all acts/actions executed by the respondent-Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as Chief Minister of Punjab and his Cabinet since 30.04.2022 are declared legal and valid.

According to the LHC majority order, re-counting will be held on tomorrow “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. All the functionaries under the Constitution or law, within their respective share of powers, shall act jointly and severally to implement the directions by this Court.”

Dissenting Judge Justice Muhammad Sajid Mehmood Sethi mentioned in his dissenting note that “After excluding 25 votes of defectors, the remaining votes at the credit of respondent-Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif are 172, therefore, he is not member elected within the contemplation of Article 130(4) of the Constitution and being a stranger to the office of Chief Minister, cannot be allowed to hold the office; besides, it will give political advantage to respondent over the other contesting candidate, thus, office of a non-elected member cannot be protected which even otherwise appear to be against the mandate of Article 133 of the Constitution.”

PTI and PMLQ have expressed their reservations about this judgment and announced that both parties will challenge this order in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.