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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan, upholding the SC Registrar Office objections, dismissed a constitutional petition against the incumbent chief election commissioner (CEC).

A two-judge bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Wednesday, heard a private citizen’s appeal against the objections of the SC Registrar Office.

Ali Azeem Afridi Advocate had filed a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution pleading to declare the appointment of the incumbent CEC unconstitutional in the eyes of the law.

Justice Bandial said an honest, dedicated and capable officer is appointed the chief of the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP), adding before appointing the incumbent CEC, the government must have seen his credentials and competency.

The acting CJP inquired from the petitioner whether the incumbent CEC is a serving bureaucrat or a judge. The petitioner replied “no”.

Upon that, Justice Bandial said then there was no need to pursue this case. He stated that the incumbent CEC is a retired civil servant and that there were no solid grounds provided in the plea for his dismissal. He said according to the Constitution, the constitutional amendment cannot be challenged. The petitioner had submitted that “Section 4 of the Constitution (Twenty-Second Amendment) Act, 2016 (XXV OF 2016); to the extent of allowing appointment of senior civil servant and technocrat as chief election commissioner and by treating them at par with that of the judge of the Supreme Court and on that score enabling them to superintend and supervise the role of member(s); under the robes as judges of the high court; be declared ultra vires of the constitution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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