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ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Friday demand a full court bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hear the suo moto case about Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa elections.

Talking to reporters outside Supreme Court, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, along with Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan and Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, urged the country’s institutions to utilise collective wisdom to resolve the prevailing crisis including economic, political, and constitutional.

Tarar said that the country is facing a major constitutional challenge, adding that a full court bench of the Supreme Court should hear the proceedings of the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa elections case.

Referring to the proceedings of the apex court, he said that the proceedings are now before the public. He added that 9-member bench changed into a 5-member bench and later to a three-member bench following Justice Mandokhail also excused himself to be part of the bench.

He reiterated that the earlier decision of the apex court which came with 4/3 also “proved to be dismissed.”

Tarar said that the situation regarding the powers of 184/3 is in front of everyone, adding that Justice Mandokhail also excused himself from the four-member bench.

He hoped that the chief justice would play the role of the head of the institution to resolve the constitutional problem. When the three-member bench started the hearing earlier on Friday, the representatives of the Bar councils raised the same point, as a huge constitutional problem has arisen.

The law minister also urged the political leadership of the country to use the window of dialogue to overcome political polarisation.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that a full court of the Supreme Court be constituted to hear the case regarding elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“We are not opposed to the hearing of the case but it should be decided through collective wisdom,” she added.

To a question, the information minister maintained that it is not the democratic forces but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who is allegedly running away from the elections. She regretted that Imran Khan wants “chaos and anarchy” in the country.

Interior Minister Sanaullah said that it has become imperative to oust Imran Khan from the political arena, as he held the PTI chairman solely responsible for all the crises being faced by the country.

He said that Justice Mandokhail has excused himself from the Supreme Court bench hearing the case pertaining to elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and also wrote a dissenting note.

“It’s an irony that the nine-member bench had been reduced to just three members now … A ‘Fitna’ (Imran Khan) has first created a political and administrative crisis and now judicial crisis and that’s why it becomes all the more important to oust him from politics,” he maintained.

He said that it has also become imperative to investigate how and why Imran Khan was launched into politics and the judiciary should also play its role in this regard.

He alleged that the PTI chairman wants chaos in the country, adding that the two provincial assemblies were not dissolved constitutionally as the respective chief ministers were not willing to do so.

“It’s rather an ‘arrogant and stubborn’ person who made them dissolve the assemblies for his nefarious agenda,” he further alleged.

The interior minister said that the decision of a two-member bench headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa regarding the suo moto powers cannot be disregarded by the circular of the Registrar’s Office.

“There is no such precedent of the registrar’s circular prevailing in the face of a bench’s decision,” he added.

He also reiterated that a full court bench should be formed to decide the provincial assemblies’ election case. “The matter must be resolved in a win-win situation for all,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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