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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s verdict in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa election delay petition was “rejected by a majority 4-3 split”.

Talking to journalists outside the apex court, he said that there is no need to review the decision of the suo motu case as it is a “clear decision” that does not require explanation.

He said that the government’s “position is that this petition has been rejected by 4-3”, adding that no further comment is needed in this regard.

“It was essentially a seven-member bench and two judges had voluntarily recused themselves,” he added.

He also said that “we are saying on record that no one is running away from elections”.

While criticising President Arif Alvi for unilaterally setting April 9 as the date of the vote for the provincial assemblies of Punjab and K-P, the federal minister added that the “president had “broken the law as he decided to impose the order and then withdraw it”.

However, talking to journalists, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry said that his party’s stance – to hold election in KP and Punjab within 90 days as defined in the constitution – was accepted by all five judges of the Supreme Court.

“The apex court verdict is a victory for the constitution and it is a “unanimous” decision. In my opinion, this decision has a ratio of 0-5 as all five judges in the bench said the election should be held within 90 days as defined in the constitution,” he added.

He said that President Dr Arif Alvi will announce the election dates in Punjab and the Governor will announce the elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, adding the court has ordered the federal government to provide security and all resources to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The counsel for PTI barrister Ali Zafar said that the executive has to implement the majority decision of the judges as everyone is bound by the decision of the court and there is no ambiguity in this.

Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League (AML) said that the nation should get ready for the elections as it is a big victory for the constitution and democracy in the country. “It’s a victory for the constitution and the law in the country… the apex court has given a message to the nation and the ECP has no option but to ensure elections within 90 days,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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