On Tuesday, while hearing a petition asking for a restraining order to prevent the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly (PA), Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court (LHC) harshly criticised the practise of filing unnecessary applications in courts.
Justice Karim’s comment that “the petitioner would not be left with even a single coin to go back home if the plea is not withdrawn” prompted the petitioner’s attorney to withdraw the petition, at which point the court dismissed the plea as withdrawn.
The petitioner’s attorney pleaded with the court from the outset, arguing that the current economic crisis in the nation does not permit elections and that dissolving assemblies may trigger new problems.
The lawyer further urged the court, saying that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had promised not to dissolve the legislature and that it would serve out its full term.
The appeal further said that dissolving the assembly at the sole instruction of Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and a former prime minister, would be illegal.
Justice Karim said that there is no ambiguity about the terms under which the assemblies are being dissolved. He questioned how an individual could be prevented from exercising a constitutional right.
Justice Karim said the court’s time should not be wasted on such applications and questioned their motivation.
Imran Khan said last week that the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies will be dissolved permanently on December 23.
The PTI leader is risking his political leverage by calling for early elections by dissolving the assemblies in which his party has a majority.
He claimed to have contacted PTI attorneys extensively before executing the provincial power play to hasten polls, and he emphasised that elections cannot be postponed for more than 90 days after an assembly is dissolved.