Peshawar, Apr 6 (PTI) A Pakistani court has directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker to issue a fresh production order of an imprisoned Hindu lawmaker-elect to attend the next session of the House on April 13 and take oath of the office.
Member of the Provincial Assembly-elect Baldev Kumar, who is in jail in the murder case of Sikh lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh, had moved the Peshawar High Court against the Speaker, treasury and opposition members of the House and the provincial government over the delay in his taking oath as a member.
Justice Qalandar Ali Khan and Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan of the Peshawar High Court bench asked KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar to ensure that the atmosphere during the session is conducive for Kumar to take oath.
The Speaker had previously issued the production order of Kumar, following which he was brought to the House to attend the session on February.
But he could not take the oath of office as MPAs protested against him and also staged a walkout and forcing the Speaker to adjourn the session due to lack of quorum.
Hearing the contempt petition yesterday, filed against KP assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, provincial minister Shah Farman, leader of the opposition Lutfur Rehman and MPA Arbab Jehandad.
Petitioner’s lawyer Muhib Jan Salarzai said that his client was declared MPA-elect by the Election Commission of Pakistan on a seat reserved for non-Muslims in the KP Assembly, but the Speaker was reluctant to issue his production order.
He further said that on the high court’s order, the Speaker later issued production order but when Kumar went to attend the House, an atmosphere of hostility was deliberately created to prevent him from taking oath.
Salarzai also said that only around a month was left in the tenure of the present provincial assembly and it was an injustice to his client not to administer him the oath of office.
Appearing for the defendent, additional advocate general Riaz Ahmad contended that the Speaker had complied with the court’s earlier order, but when the quorum was incomplete then it was beyond his powers to administer oath to the petitioner.
He stated that the MPAs were agitating against the petitioner as he was accused of killing their former colleague.
Kumar was arrested in 2016.
The police claimed that Kumar’s motive to murder Singh was that he wanted to become an MPA, as his name was in second position in the priority list of candidates, which the Pakistan-Tehreeq-e-Insaaf had submitted for the reserved seats for minorities in the 2013 general elections, therefore, he was declared MPA-elect by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.