The leaders of the coalition government have announced that they will boycott the Supreme Court’s proceedings in the Punjab chief minister election case after the top court rejected their request to form a full court bench.
Earlier in the day, a three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, heard the petition filed by PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi against Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari’s ruling in the Friday’s election, which led to PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz’s victory.
After the hearing, the court rejected the government’s plea for a full court bench in the case.
Addressing a presser, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said: “Our lawyers recommended a [full court] bench but unfortunately, the bench, instead of reflecting and accepting our advice, rejected it.”
“Therefore, the allies of all parties want to give a clear stance that if [our request for a] full court bench is rejected then we, too, reject this decision of the court. We will not appear before this bench for this case and will boycott it.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the demand for a full court was for the sake of the Constitution. “Had a full court listened to us then the entire country would’ve accepted your decision.”
PML-N Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said it is a “test” for the apex court since it is a requirement of justice that a judge or bench recuse themselves from a case in which fingers are raised on them.
He said the three judges of the existing bench have the responsibility to decide whether or not the history would accept their conduct.