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Reference against ECP members turned down by SJC

The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on Monday turned down a reference filed against the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Gohar Nawaz filed a reference on August 26, seeking the ECP members' dismissal on the charge that they were unable to discharge their constitutional responsibilities during the general elections 2013.

Gohar also accused the ECP of committing electoral irregularities in the general elections, urging the SJC to unseat the Commission members as per Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan. After the initial hearing of the counsel, SJC led by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali dismissed the reference due to insufficient material provided by the petitioner to substantiate his claim against the ECP members. Article 209 states that "if, on information from any source, the SJC or the President is of the opinion that a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court, (a) may be incapable of properly performing the duties of his office by reason of physical or mental incapacity; or (b) may have been guilty of misconduct, the President shall direct the Council to or the Council may, on its own motion, inquire into the matter.

"If, after inquiring into the matter, the Council reports to the President that it is of the opinion, (a) that the Judge is incapable of performing the duties of his office or has been guilty of misconduct, and (b) that he should be removed from office, the President may remove the Judge from office".

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015