SC resumes hearing PTI petition on delay in Punjab, KP polls
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday resumed hearing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf s (PTI) petition against delay in general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ARY News reported.
A five-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail is hearing the case.
Ahead of the hearing, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) filed pleas in the SC to become respondents in the case.
As proceedings commenced, CJ Bandial said that the “question in front of the court is simple one, can the ECP postpone the election date or not”?
“We don t want to stretch the matter”, the top judge remarked, adding “If the ECP has the authority [to extend the date] then the matter will be over”.
“If the political temperature stays so high, problems will increase,” CJP added.
At this, PPP lawyer Farooq H. Naek said that there was “anarchy and fascism” in the country today.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned whether ECP has right to change the election schedule announced by President Alvi?
“The point is that does ECP has right to delay elections beyond 90 days,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan said.
At this, the CJP also second Justice Ijaz and asked can ECP change the election date given by president?
During the proceedings, AGP Mansoor Awan mentioned the dissenting notes of two SC judges.
On Monday, the SC sought assurances from the federal government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the election delay case.
CJP Umar Ata Bandial said that it is unfortunate that all the respondents are confronting with each other. The federal government and PTI have to assure that they want a transparent election or not.
He observed that the election date has been extended but does Article 254 allow this? CJP said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is just a constitutional institute. He issued notice to the ECP too.
PTI had challenged the election commission s decision to change the date of election in Punjab and KP. Punjab and KPK assemblies speakers Sibtain Khan and Mushtaq Ghani have filed a joint constitutional petition on behalf of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf.
The federation, Punjab and KPK were made parties along with the ministry of parliamentary affairs, ministry of law and the cabinet in the PTI petition.
In the petition, PTI sought directions for the federal government to ensure law and order, provisions of funds and security personnel as per the ECP s need to hold the elections.
It also requested the court to direct the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to announce the date for elections to the provincial assembly.