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Senate voting method will be decided by parliament: CJP

  • "It is the parliament that will decide whether or not the voting should be secret; we will not take over the parliament's right," says Gulzar Ahmed.
  • "We are not the parliament and neither can we reduce its authority," says CJP.
24 Feb 2021

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed has observed that it is up to parliament to decide whether balloting in the Senate should be open or secret.

The CJP made these remakes while hearing the presidential reference on holding Senate elections through open ballot.

"We are not the parliament and neither can we reduce its authority," said Gulzar Ahmed.

“We will only respond to the questions that have been asked in regards to the reference; the court only has to determine whether Article 226 of the Constitution applies to the Senate elections," Justice Gulzar remarked.

The senior-most judge added, "it is the parliament that will decide whether or not the voting should be secret; we will not take over the parliament's right."

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) lawyer Senator Mian Raza Rabbani pointed out that examples presented before the apex court were related to the lower house, while the presidential reference was concerned with election in the upper house.

Rabbani told the Apex court that the Constitution had kept the vote secret and assured the voters' independence.

"Keeping it secret is the voter's right and making the ballot identifiable amounts to reducing their independence," he argued.