ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s schedule for delimitation of constituencies, from May 16.
A two-member bench, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, will hear the PTI’s petition. The PTI General Secretary, Asad Umar, on April 19, 2022, had filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution seeking a declaration that the delimitation schedule announced by the ECP on April 11 was “illegal’ and “unconstitutional”.
Justice Ijaz on April 26 in chambers had set aside the Registrar Office’s objections on the PTI’s petition to halt fresh delimitation of constituencies across the country.
The PTI has prayed before the apex court to declare that the delimitation notified under the notification dated 3rd May 2018 may be held exhaustive for all intents and purposes of the elections until a new census takes place.
To direct the Election Commissioner and the Secretary ECP to ensure the electoral process (whenever it is called) is in accordance with the law and the Constitution and strictly refrain from creating any delay.
Umar 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 the schedule issued by the ECP amounts to a departure from Article 51(5) in absence of a 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 been carried till the date. Hence the respondents are bound to hold elections on the basis of delimitation colluded previously.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022