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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was asked to declare that the delimitation schedule issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) be held, illegal, unconstitutional and in violation of the mandatory provisions of law and the constitution.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) through its General Secretary Asad Umar filed a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and cited federation through President of Pakistan, ECP, Secretary ECP, Secretary Cabinet Division, Secretary Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, and chief secretaries of all the provinces as respondents.

The petitioner further prayed that the delimitation notified under the notification dated 3rd of May 2018 may be held exhaustive for all intents and purposes of the elections until new census take place. He further prayed to direct the Election Commissioner and the secretary ECP to ensure electoral process (whenever it is called) in accordance with law and the Constitution and strictly refrain from creating any delay.

He submitted that the schedule issued by the Election Commission is unconstitutional and illegal. The delimitation of the constituencies being a constitutional function cannot be conducted in violation of the mandatory command of the Constitution and the law.

The special permission was granted by the then parliament to carry out the delimitation of national and provincial constituencies, on the basis of provisional census result. Such, action was introduced as an exception to the general rule to ensure the general elections 2018, and thereafter article 51(5) of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, stands restored in its actual form.

New delimitation of provincial and national constituencies all over Pakistan and schedule issued by the ECP amounts into departure from article 51(5) in absence of new census and stands squarely in violation thereof, as the delimitation exercise conducted in 2018 on the command of the Constitution has to be considered final till the new census takes place. Admittedly no new census has carried till the date. Hence the respondents are bound to hold elections on the basis of delimitation colluded previously.

The delimitation after publication of official publication of census is an invalid, unreasonable and implausible pretext to delay the elections and it is a blatant departure from the mandatory duty imposed by the Constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan 1973 under articles 218 and 219, especially in the circumstances that the officially published results of 2017 census are admittedly as similar as were results of the provisional results.

The exercise of delimitation of constituencies in 2018 by the Election Commission of Pakistan, through its notification dated 3rd of May 2018, is exhaustive for all intents and purposes until a new census takes place.

The schedule issued by the ECP with regard to the delimitation of the constituencies of National and Provincial constituencies is contrary to the law and the constitution and liable to be struck down.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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