The Peshawar High Court has taken serious note of the delay in oath taking of a Hindu lawmaker-elect.
Acting on the plea of Baldev Kumar, the Hindu leader who has been elected to the Provincial Assembly, the court sought reply from both the Speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly as well as the provincial government.
The bench comprising Justice Qaisar Rasheed and Justice Afsar Shah on Tuesday asked the respondents to file their replies by April 5.
Kumar’s counsel, Mohib Jan Salarzai told the court that the KP government was deliberately using delaying tactics to prevent his client from taking oath as a Member of the Provicial Assembly (MPA) as the five-year term of the House was about to expire.
He also said, on the court’s direction, Kumar was produced in the assembly on February 26.
But he was not administered the oath as lawmakers from the opposition as well as the treasury benches raised a ruckus inside the House.
The Speaker was stopped from administering oath to Kumar in the quorum-less session as the members staged a walked out.
Justice Rasheed then told the counsel, if such a situation is created in the assembly and members stage a walk out, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the proceeding due to lack of quorum, then he cannot bring back MPAs in the house through use of stick.
Kumar had on March 1 moved the high court after he was prevented from taking oath in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for his alleged role in the murder of a Sikh legislator in 2016.
The court then on March 2 ordered the Assembly speaker to administer oath to the imprisoned Hindu lawmaker, but the treasury and opposition lawmakers joined hands to stop him from taking oath on March 3.
The members walked out from the House. As the quorum remained incomplete, Speaker Asad Qaiser prorogued the session sine die.