ISLAMABAD: A contempt petition is likely to be filed against President Dr Arif Alvi over his indifference to implement the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC) to appoint a representative for administering the oath to Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz.
It is learnt that the legal experts have found a point to file a contempt petition against Arif Alvi who has once appeared in court as an accused by relinquishing his impunity as president under Article 248 of the Constitution.
It is reported that Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz will file the contempt petition against the president in the LHC today. President Arif Alvi has been acquitted by a special court as an accused in the PTV attack case only after relinquishing his impunity,legal experts said.
If the president can appear in the court by relinquishing his impunity, contempt proceedings can also be initiated against him,they added.
The president himself has surrendered his constitutional immunity, so the contempt petition can be filed against him,they stated.
Hamza Shehbaz is likely to file a contempt petition against Arif Alvi, and also a plea for the implementation of the LHC decision to appoint a representative for administering oath to him.
Meanwhile, As the Punjab constitutional crisis regarding swearing-in of Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz lingers on, the PML-N plan to file a contempt plea against President for not implementing the court order hits a snag.
According to legal experts, there are several legal complications involved in filing a contempt plea against the President. Under Article 248 of the Constitution, the President of Pakistan and the Governor both enjoy indemnity. They are not answerable to courts of the country, they added.
On Friday, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti ordered President of Pakistan to appoint a representative for administering oath to Punjab chief minister-elect as Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema had expressed his inability to do so.
Saturday, rumors were rife that President Arif Alvi had appointed Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to administer the oath and preparations were afoot at Punjab Governor House for the swearing-in ceremony of Hamza which was expected at 4pm. But by the end of the day, no ceremony was held and rumors died down with the tweet of President Alvi uploaded just before 4pm in which he stated that he received a summary from the PM Office on 23rd April 2022 regarding the court order and it was under consideration as per the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The Punjab administration yesterday had already sent a plane to Islamabad Airport to bring Sanjrani to Lahore for Hamzas oath-taking ceremony. But the plane flew back sans Senate chairman.
The PML-N leadership became edgy as the long-awaited ceremony was once again put on hold.
After the emerging new situation, PML-N leaders Atta Ullah Tarar, Malik Ahmad Khan, Awais Leghari, Khalil Tahir Sindhu and others held a press conference in Lahore and rued that the delaying tactics were being used despite the Lahore High Court order on the matter of oath-taking of Hamza Shehbaz. They announced that a contempt of court petition would be filed in the Lahore High Court on Monday.
In the heat of the moment, though the PML-N spokesmen announced to bring contempt plea against the President but the legal experts dont reckon that they could be able to do so in the light of constitutional indemnity enjoyed by the President and Governor.
The experts say that the Constitution provides protection to the President and courts cannot issue any order or advice to the Head of the State.
The Lahore High Court has not issued any order or instructions to the President regarding appointment of a representative who could administer oath to the chief minister-elect, experts say adding that even the President was not made a party in Hamza Shehbazs petition.
They say that the court even did not give any timeframe for the appointment of a representative in its ruling.
The legal brains are of the view that instead of filing contempt plea against President, the PML-N can file a petition requesting court to issue another order for implementation on its earlier order regarding appointment of a representative for oath-taking administration.