- A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took up the petitions moved by PTI, Sheikh Rashid GM Chaudhary and others against the ECP and the federal government.
Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday issued notices to the respondents including Election Commission of Pakistan and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and sought replies on the petitions challenging delay in the general elections of Punjab from April 30 to October 8.
A SC five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial heard the case.
“What our leaders have done so far?, asked the CJP as the hearing of the case commenced, asking whether Article 254 of the Constitution allowed the ECP to extend the election date.
The top judge also asked that whether the parties wanted elections in the country or not. The apex court issued notice to the parties and put off further hearing till Tuesday (tomorrow).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Muslim League Chief Sheikh Rashid, GM Chaudhary and another petitioner filed the petition in the Supreme Court. The petitioners said that the elections were postponed from April 30 to Oct 8 which was clearly violation of the Supreme Court’s orders. They said that the delay in elections was also violation of the Constitution.
The petitioners asked the top court to take action against the delay in the general elections of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The development took place a week after the ECP postponed the general elections from April 30 to October 8 due to security threats.
Reacting to the decision, President Arif Alvi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and asked him to implement the order in light of the Supreme Court orders. He also conveyed him that being head of the government, it was his responsibility to implement the Supreme Court orders regarding elections in Punjab and KPK.
The president also pointed out violations of the fundamental and human rights in the country.
On Sunday, Prime Minister responded to the president, saying that “the president’s letter was more like the press release of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,”. The PM said that the President was partisan as he set the elections date on the demands of the PTI.
The PM said that his letter also contained anti-government views and regretted that the president did acted in the manner which did not suit to his office. He also said that he was not bound to consult the president about the administrative matters.
Earlier this month, the top court had ordered the ECP to conduct elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90-day time.
The top court gave decision with 3-2 as Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail dissented from the majority verdict. CJP Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar backed the decision.
The top court had ruled that the President can set an election date if the governor decides not to dissolve the assembly. The SC also decided that the ECP could set a new election date in urgent consultation with the president and governor if the polls in Punjab could not be held on April 9.