Election delay case: SC reserves decision
SC to announce verdict on PTI petition challenging delay in Punjab, KP polls tomorrow
The Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed the hearing of the election delay case on Monday after the government filed a petition seeking a bench of new judges to hear the election suo motu case.
The decision has been reserved after the hearing in the Supreme Court on the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against the postponement of elections in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which will be pronounced tomorrow.
- CJP says it’s his prerogative to form a new bench
- Justice Bandial again ruled out full court, suggesting govt can request for larger bench
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the law does not allow anyone to defer elections, only the court can extend the poll date.
Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Awan, ECP lawyers Irfan Qadir and Sajeel Swati and PTI lawyer Ali Zafar were also present in the courtroom as the hearing began.
PPP’s lawyer Farooq H. Naik, Defense Secretary, Secretary Election Commission and Deputy Secretary Interior Ministry also appeared in the court.
At the beginning of the hearing, as Farooq H. Naik came to the rostrum, the Chief Justice inquired whether he has ended the boycott.
“How can you boycott the case and at the same time attend the hearing,” Justice Akhtar said.
“How can anyone boycott proceedings of the case,” he inquired.
He said newspaper reports suggested that the government had boycotted the proceedings and how could he (Mr Naek) give arguments.
He also asked Mr Naek to read out the joint statement and expressed displeasure with the language used in it.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that on one hand you object to the bench and on the other hand you become a part of the proceedings, read out the declaration of the government coalition meeting, and the language used in it.
Kamran Murtaza said that our reservations are on the bench.
Farooq H. Naik said that we have reservations about the admissibility of the petitions.
The Chief Justice remarked that if you want to boycott, then do not be a part of the court proceedings, if you do not boycott, write it down.
On behalf of the Muslim League (N), Akram Sheikh, the lawyer, said that the lawyer can give arguments until the lawyer’s name is withdrawn.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that those who gave the power of attorney have shown a lack of confidence, Akram Sheikh said that the lawyers coming to the court shows their confidence.
The Chief Justice inquired what instructions have you received from the Attorney General, and the Attorney General replied that the government cannot boycott the court.
The Chief Justice remarked that much was expected from a serious Attorney General, the Attorney General said that the government operates according to the Constitution.
Attorney General said that in the application, the decision of the Election Commission is requested to be annulled, and the President has also been requested to be given a date in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the basis of the application is the court decision of March 1, in the decision, the court has made the President for Punjab and The governor was asked to give a date for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not give any date until the applications were filed.
The Chief Justice inquired that the question was raised that how can the Election Commission give the date of October 8? The law does not give anyone the authority to postpone the election, the court can only advance the date of the election. In 1988, the elections were also postponed on the order of the court. It has been mentioned that it has been implemented.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the real issue is the order of the Election Commission, the court order was binding on the Election Commission, and if the order of the EC is upheld, the remaining appeals will end.
The Attorney General said that the case was heard by a 9-member bench in the first round, the hearing order came on February 21, the details of the differences of 2 judges have come out, 2 judges had dismissed the petitions on the first day.
The Chief Justice remarked that a judge had dismissed the petition, Justice Athar Minullah may not have written in the note to dismiss the petition.
Attorney General said that Justice Yahya Afridi had agreed with Justice Athar Manullah, on this, the Chief Justice remarked we understand your point of view.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar inquired that the detailed notes of Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Mandukhel were of how many members of the bench. How many members of the bench gave the decision? On February 27, a 9-member bench referred the matter to the Chief Justice for reconstitution.
Meanwhile, Irfan Qadir said something in the Attorney General’s ear, and then Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked whether Irfan Qadir has come to save the Attorney General.
Irfan Qadir said that there is a matter of 15 seconds, on this Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that he has come to 15 seconds from 3 minutes.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that when the bench was reconstituted, it had five members.
Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandyal inquired whether the Chief Justice could not include any five judges. The Attorney General replied, ‘I agree with your opinion’.
He further remarked that the Chief Justice was not bound to include the earlier members, the court decision you are referring to is a minority one, on which the Attorney General said that there was no court order even on March 1.