LHC admits plea for Baligh’s removal

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday constituted a larger bench to remove Punjab Governor Balig-ur-Rehman from his post, a private television channel reported. The larger bench will consist of Justice Chaudhry Iqbal, Justice Muzzamil Akhtar Shabbir, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh and Justice Asim Hafeez will be headed by Justice Abid Aziz Shaeikh. The petition was filed by advocate Shabbir Ismail on behalf of advocate Azhar Siddique.

The appeal said that a letter was written to President Dr Arif Alvi and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif demanding the removal of Baligh-ur-Rehman from the Punjab governorship, but both the chiefs did not respond to the letter. The plea also said that the Punjab governor cannot seek a vote of confidence without any reason. The petition also sought to require 4 to 7 days for the vote of confidence, adding that the governor cannot call for a vote in the ongoing meeting, but no action has been taken against him. A larger bench will hear the petition on January 16.

In December last year, the constitutional crisis had further deepened in Punjab as Governor Balig-ur-Rehman sacked Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi on notice. The statement said it was believed that the Prime Minister did not have the confidence of the majority of members of the assembly. The notification also said that the Punjab Cabinet has been dissolved. According to the announcement, Pervaiz Elahi will continue to exercise his duties until the election of the new leader of the House.