New SC bench to hear Punjab elections delay case tomorrow after Justice Aminuddin's recusal
- Apex court says the decision regarding bench members to be taken on Friday
The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that a new bench would take up the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to delay polls in Punjab at 11:30 am tomorrow (Friday).
The SC order, read out by the court staff, stated that the decision regarding the bench members would be taken on Friday, and the case would be decided before a bench that does not include Justice Aminuddin Khan.
The development comes hours after a five-member bench was dissolved after Justice Khan recused himself from hearing the PTI’s petition on the delay in the Punjab elections.
The bench, constituted by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, included Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, and Justice Khan.
Punjab polls delay: Elections have been held in Pakistan despite terrorism, says SC
On March 1, the Supreme Court said elections for the Punjab Assembly must be held within 90 days and that the president announces the date. However, the ECP decided to push Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa elections from April 30 to October 8, citing the deteriorating security situation in the country and the unavailability of finances and security personnel as reasons.
The PTI challenged this in court, and a hearing began on Monday. On Wednesday, the SC had asked the ECP to comply with its order. Chief Justice Bandial asked the ECP to find a way to hold elections, suggesting that if there are security issues, then polls could be held on two days instead of one. The ECP was asked to prepare a comprehensive plan for elections and present it in court today (Thursday).
The CJP had also noted on Wednesday that elections have been held in the country despite the terrorism it has faced in the past 20 years.