LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Amir Bhatti has directed Punjab Governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema to either administer the oath to Chief Minister-elect Hamza Sharif tomorrow (Thursday) or appoint another person to do so. The verdict was announced by the LHC Chief Justice on Wednesday during a hearing on a petition filed by Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz seeking the appointment of a person to administer the oath of office to him. Yesterday, the chief justice reserved the decision, which he announced today. CJ Bhatti directed Governor Cheema to administer the oath to CM-elect Hamza tomorrow and that if the governor refused, another person should be appointed to perform the ceremony. The judge urged the President to fulfill his constitutional obligation and order the swearing-in of the Chief Minister-elect. By tomorrow, the judge ordered that steps be taken to administer the oath to CM-elect Hamza Shehbaz. He lamented the province’s 25-day period without a chief minister. Additionally, the courtroom was attended by the additional attorney general and additional advocate general. The court had prohibited uninvolved individuals from entering the courtroom. Outside the courtroom, a large number of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf women workers were present. During yesterday’s hearing, Chief Justice Bhatti enquired as to which statute empowered the governor to investigate the authenticity of the chief minister’s election. He continued by stating that when the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker was asked to conduct elections, he was not an ordinary person. “He presided over the election of the new provincial chief minister,” he explained, “but the way the LHC order was flouted on election day was plain to see.” Punjab’s advocate general pleaded with the Chief Justice to exercise restraint. However, CJ Bhatti questioned how a province could function without a chief minister. “What has happened in Punjab over the last 20 to 25 days with the constitution is unfortunate,” he observed. The judge expressed his dissatisfaction with the excessive delay in swearing in the CM-elect. He inquired as to what was preventing the president from appointing another representative. “Should the court appoint someone to administer the oath?” Chief Justice Bhatti inquired. The judge stated that by failing to administer the oath to the CM-elect, the Constitution was violated. He inquired as to the constitutional authority for all this delay.