LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday reinstated PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as the Punjab chief minister after he submitted an undertaking assuring the court that he would not dissolve the provincial assembly.
The court issued the directives as a five-member bench took up Elahi’s plea challenging Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman’s orders to de-notify him as the provincial chief executive.
The court also restored the provincial cabinet.
On Thursday night, the Punjab governor sprang into action and denotified Elahi as chief minister of the largest province in a bid to forestall ousted premier Imran Khan’s plan to dissolve the Punjab Assembly (PA).
In his order dated Dec 22, the governor said that since the chief minister had refrained from taking a vote of confidence at the appointed day and time, he ceased to hold the office. Rehman, however, asked Elahi to continue working as chief minister until his successor takes charge.
Subsequently, Elahi approached the court earlier today, saying the move was “unconstitutional, unlawful and of no legal effect”.
The hearing was put off for an hour after the court asked Elahi’s counsel, Barrister Ali Zafar, to seek an assurance from his client with regards to not dissolving the assembly.
When the hearing resumed Elahi, through his counsel, submitted an undertaking wherein he said he would not dissolve the provincial assembly until the next hearing.
“If me and my cabinet are reinstated, then I will not send the assembly dissolution summary to the governor till the next hearing,” the undertaking, which was read aloud by Zafar in the courtroom, said.
Subsequently, the court reinstated Elahi as the Punjab chief minister and directed the respondents to submit a reply at the next hearing scheduled for January 11, 2023.
Speaking to the media outside the courtroom, Elahi’s son, Moonis Elahi, said that the PML-Q respected the judiciary. “We will seek a vote of confidence and will dissolve the assembly the same day,” he said.