On Tuesday, Supreme Court resumed hearing petitions related to the recently held election for the post of Punjab chief minister. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) will announce the verdict for the Punjab chief minister’s election case shortly. This was earlier expected at around 6pm which was later postponed to 7:30pm. The counsel representing Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, Irfan Qadir, and the counsel of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Farooq H Naek, boycotted SC proceedings. The petition filed by the opposition parties challenging the decision of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari regarding the election of the chief minister was being heard by a three-member bench presided over by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial and made up of Justices Ejaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar. Justice Ata Bandial stated at the start of the hearing on Tuesday that the bench wanted to resolve the case as soon as possible to put an end to the province’s governance crisis. Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker’s lawyer Irfan Qadir boycotted the court proceedings saying his client has directed him to do so. Qadir said he would file a revision against the order rejecting the petition asking for the formation of a full five-member bench. Reiterating that the lawyers of the defendants had failed to satisfy the Supreme Court (SC) as to why the full-court bench should be formed to hear the petition filed jointly by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) against the ruling given by the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker in the chief minister election case, Justice Ata Bandial observed that it was the parliamentary party that gave direction to the MPAs to vote while the party head could take action in the event of violation of that direction. The CJP added that the apex court had already decided that there was no need to constitute the full-court bench since no legal reason had been given for that. “It is clearly laid down in the constitution that it is the parliamentary party that has to give instructions to the MPAs,” he said, adding that the formation of a full-court bench amounted to dragging the case on since the required number of judges were not available for the purpose until the second week of September. CJP Bandial went on to add that he and fellow judges had made this clear to lawyers of the respondents that the constitution did not allow obstructions in governance. Farooq Naek, a lawyer for the PPP, also made an appearance at the podium and announced that his organization would not be present in court. However, the chief justice allowed Naek to take a seat and complimented him on his Monday assistance to the court. The PPP was not added as a party to the case, Justice Bandial continued. CJP Bandial said that forming a full court was tantamount to unnecessary delay. “The formation of a full court and then hearing of the case could have been delayed till September as leaves are being taken in the court.” Meanwhile, the top court sought assistance on matters relating to directions by the party head or a parliamentary party. “Assist the court over the legal questions or we will set ourselves aside from the bench,” CJP Bandial told Barrister Ali Zafar, the counsel of Elahi. The CJP extended an open invitation to assist the court to reach a fair and just decision in the high-profile case. The court went on a break for an hour and said that the hearing will resume at 2:30pm.