The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday restored Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as chief minister Punjab and the provincial cabinet after getting an undertaking for not dissolving the provincial assembly. The court suspended the operation of the orders of de-notifying the chief minister and the cabinet till January 11, after Chaudhry Parvez Elahi gave an undertaking of not dissolving the provincial assembly till the next date of hearing. However, the court held that this order would not prevent Chaudhry Parvez Elahi from taking a vote of confidence on his own accord. The court adjourned further hearing till January 11 and sought reply from the respondents. The five-member bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh heard the petition filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi against de-notifying him from office of the chief minister Punjab. Barrister Ali Zafar represented Chaudhry Parvez Elahi before the bench and argued that the chief minister was elected by the assembly, “The chief minister could be removed through no confidence motion or he could be asked to take a vote of confidence from the house”, he added. He said that the governor could direct to summon a session if he considered that the chief minister had lost the confidence of the majority. He submitted that as per rules, it was necessary to give appropriate time for the purpose and notices should be issued to all the members. He submitted that the speaker could give ten days time if the members were abroad. To a court query, he responded that the speaker had the powers to issue notices and hold the voting on the same day. He submitted that if the speaker fixes a day for the vote of confidence and the chief minister refuses to take the vote of confidence then the governor could pass orders. Barrister Ali Zafar submitted that Chaudhry Parvez Elahi never refused to take a vote of confidence. He submitted that the assembly session had to be called by the speaker as the chief minister could not do the same. How could the governor issue orders, if a session was not held, he questioned. At this stage, Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh observed that if the governor had asked for a vote of confidence then his orders should have been implemented. To which, Ali Zafar submitted that as per rules, the governor could ask the chief minister to take a vote of confidence, adding that appropriate time should be given for the purpose. How, the chief minister would take a vote of confidence if the assembly was not in session, he questioned. Justice Sheikh observed that the process of calling the assembly session for a vote of confidence could still be held, adding that the crisis could end if a time for voting was given. However, Barrister Ali Zafar replied that it was only possible if the order of de-notifying was set aside. To which, Justice Sheikh observed, “We will review the matter and decide the same as per law.” He further observed, “If we suspend the order and restore Parvez Elahi as chief minister, what are the chances that he will dissolve the assembly? We will review it, if you give an undertaking regarding dissolution of the assembly.” Justice Sheikh adjourned the hearing for ten minutes while directing Barrister Ali Zafar to consult with his client and seek assurance that the assembly would not be dissolved. Later, as proceedings resumed, Barrister Ali Zafar submitted that his client needed more time for the undertaking. He submitted that the bench could itself pass orders of not dissolving the assembly after restoring his client. At this, the bench noted how such orders could be passed, adding that it could not put a bar on the constitutional right of a chief minister to dissolve the assembly. The bench gave Ali Zafar an hour to consult with Parvez Elahi over the dissolution of the assembly. Later, as the proceedings resumed, Barrister Ali Zafar produced an under-taking by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, wherein it was stated that if he was restored to the position of chief minister, he would not advise to dissolve the assembly. Subsequently, the bench restored Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and the provincial cabinet while suspending the order of de-notifying them. It is pertinent to mention here that the LHC chief justice constituted the bench for hearing the petition of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi after dissolution of first bench in the morning.