‘Five-member bench or full court’: Imran says 90-day constitutional provision ‘inviolable’
- Former premier says now Imported govt of crooks, their handlers, and a compromised ECP are making a complete mockery of the Constitution
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday that it does not make a difference “whether it’s a 5 member Supreme Court bench or Full Bench” hearing the case regarding the delay in elections, stressing it is “absolutely clear that the 90-day Constitutional provision on holding elections was inviolable.”
In a Twitter thread, the PTI chief explained that his party consulted top constitutional lawyers before dissolving two provincial assemblies.
Imran stressed that all his party wants to know is “if elections will be held within the 90 days’ constitutional provision.”
“Now Imported Govt of crooks, their handlers and a compromised ECP are making a complete mockery of the Constitution,” he wrote.
The former premier said that by “cherry-picking” which Articles of the Constitution they will abide by, they are threatening the very foundation of Pakistan, which is the Constitution and Rule of Law.
“So petrified are they of elections and so desperate to whitewash their convicted leaders that they are prepared to destroy the Constitution and any semblance of Rule of Law,” he added.
The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that a new bench would take up the PTI’s 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.
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 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.