The Lahore High Court (LHC) Wednesday fined Hamza Shehbaz and the Punjab government Rs100,000 each for not submitting their responses to the petitions challenging the PML-N leader’s election as chief minister. The court had issued notices to Hamza, Punjab chief secretary, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari, governor’s principal secretary and Punjab Assembly’s secretary in the previous hearing. Hamza was elected as the Punjab CM on April 16, during a provincial assembly session that was marred by mayhem. He received a total of 197 votes – 11 more than the required 186 – including from 25 dissident PTI MPAs that were crucial for his victory. The PML-N leader faced several delays in assuming charge of the CM Office because of then Punjab governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema’s refusal to administer him oath. Hamza approached the LHC thrice, seeking directions for his oath to be administered. He was finally sworn in on April 30, by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. During the open court hearing on Wednesday, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti said that adhering to court orders was mandatory for everyone in every situation and, hence, fined the respondents. Additional advocate general and Hamza’s counsel requested the court to grant them time to submit the responses, says a news report. PML-Q’s lawyer objected that the matter shouldn’t be delayed any further, contending that Punjab was functioning without a cabinet and the province was undergoing a constitutional crisis. Justice Bhatti, however, said that the case couldn’t proceed without listening to the arguments of the respondents. “Once the responses are submitted, we will hear the case on a daily basis,” he added. The hearing was then adjourned till May 30.