LAHORE: The legal fraternity on Wednesday asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other concerned constitutional authorities to implement the judgment of Supreme Court in letter and spirit and hold the election within 90 days.
An ‘All Pakistan Lawyers Representative Convention’ organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in collaboration with the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) resolved that the ECP has no authority to postpone the elections, and termed its act as unconstitutional.
We condemn the acts and conduct of those who are taking steps to violate clear provisions of the constitution for holding elections within the prescribed time limit under the constitution, the convention resolved. It noted that the provisions of constitution are clear about the timeframe of elections after dissolution of the assemblies and that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has correctly interpreted such provisions of the constitution.
The convention; however, expressed its deep concerned over differences within the judges of Supreme Court coming out so publicly which may damage the sanctity and respect of the judiciary. It called upon the Chief Justice of Pakistan to assume leadership role and bring together all the judges of the Supreme Court to maintain dignity and it also asked the Chief Justice to ensure that such differences are resolved amicably in the larger national interest.
It also expressed its concerns that certain political parties and political leaders are attacking and defaming the judiciary to undermine its independence and gain political advantage. It resolved that the lawyers throughout Pakistan stand united for the supremacy of the constitution, rule of law and independence of judiciary.
The moot called upon all the bar councils and bar associations throughout Pakistan to act independently without any pressure or influence of any political party or politician in order to ensure their independent stance and posture.
Earlier, President SCBA Abid S Zuberi while addressing the convention said that legal fraternity always stand with the rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and independence of judiciary. He said the SCBA stands against the injustice not with a person or party.
Zuberi said lawyers always fight for the rule of law. He added that lawyers would stand with the judiciary if anyone attacks it or try to curb its judicial powers. He said although the members of the judiciary, parliament and army took oath for the protection of the constitution, lawyers would stand for the supremacy of the constitution if anyone tried to sabotage it.
He said the ECP’s decision of postponing the election is not just a contempt of court but also subversion of the constitution.
Commenting on the differences among judges, Zuberi said the two judges should have objected while sitting in the bench. If we accept the decision of two judges, even then the ECP should act upon the decision of LHC for holding election within 90 days, he added. Commenting on suo motu power of the CJP, Zuberi said there should be some provision of appeal in the matter of suo motu.
However, lawyer leader Hamid Khan said our country at present could not face the subversion of constitution and added that the legal fraternity would not allow weakening the judiciary.
He said lawyers have always stood with the judiciary and they would not allow anyone to use false means to undermine the democratic institutions. He said all the institutions have been exposed in their role to delay the elections and added that the example of delaying election after the death of Benazir Bhutto could not be cited for any elections.
He explained that the delay of the said elections was legitimated through 18th amendment. Former president LHCBA Nasira Iqbal, Vice President SCBA Bushra Kawanal, Secretary LHCBA Sabahat Rizvi and Vice President LHCBA Rabia Bajwa represented the women bar members in the convention.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023