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Hindu lawmaker’s oath: Pak court asks KP Assmebly speaker, govt to file reply by Apr 5

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Peshawar, Mar 21 : A Pakistani court has sought reply from the Speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly and the provincial government on a plea filed by a Hindu lawmaker-elect over delay in his taking oath as a member of the House.

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.

The division bench, comprising Justice Qaisar Rasheed and Justice Afsar Shah, yesterday 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.

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