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Pakistan

Punjab elections delay: three-member SC bench to announce verdict on Tuesday

  • Bench consists of CJP Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar
Published April 3, 2023

The Supreme Court (SC) said on Monday that it will announce its verdict on Tuesday regarding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polls in Punjab till October 8.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar reserved its verdict after hearing arguments from all parties.

Earlier when the hearing resumed, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan, ECP lawyers Irfan Qadir and Sajeel Swati, PTI lawyer Ali Zafar, and PPP counsel Farooq H. Naek as well as secretaries of finance and interior ministries appeared before the court.

The CJP asked Naek if PPP had ended its boycott against the court hearing but the lawyer said he had not boycotted the proceedings.

The CJP added that the media has been saying political parties have expressed no confidence in the bench, and asked Naek how will he present his arguments if this was the case.

Subsequently, AGP Awan began presenting his arguments.

Earlier, the AGP had filed a plea in the top court, requesting the formation of a full court to hear the case.

The petition also sought the dismissal of the PTI petition because of the majority (4-3) order/judgment of March 1.

Last month, the SC, in a 3-2 verdict, ruled that elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab should be held within 90 days.

Later, while speaking to the media, PTI’s Asad Umar said that the government had raised objections and wanted a full bench, adding that the members of the bench were the same on whose verdict the coalition government had ousted Imran and come into governance.

He said the government knows that the public stands with Imran and that is why it is not ready for dialogue.

Timeline of hearing

The hearing on PTI’s plea began on March 27 when Justice Munib Akhtar issued a notice to the ECP for going against Supreme Court orders of holding elections in April and postponing them to October.

On its second hearing, Justice Bandial said that ECP’s decision to postpone Punjab assembly elections was “taken in haste”.

The chief justice said that this was the first time the Supreme Court is examining the possibility of postponing elections and questioned whether the constitution allows this. He also proposed a pay cut for himself and other judges to enable authorities to fund elections across the country.

On Thursday, Justice Aminuddin Khan recused himself from hearing the case, followed by Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail a day later.

Election delay case: SC rejects govt’s full court plea

Justice Mandokhail said he believed he was a “misfit” in the bench.

The initial bench comprised of five members: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Khan, and Justice Mandokhail.

Later, the CJP constituted a smaller bench comprising himself, Justice Ahsan and Justice Akhtar to proceed with the PTI petition.

During the last hearing, the bench had rejected the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP)’s request to constitute a Full Court.

Govt expresses ‘no trust’ in SC’s 3-member bench

On Saturday, the coalition partners of the sitting government expressed no confidence in the three-member SC bench and demanded that the court proceedings be terminated by accepting the four-judge majority judgment of the suo motu no. 1/2023.

Meanwhile the National Assembly passed a bill aimed at curtailing the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan including revoking their power to take suo moto notice in an individual capacity.

Punjab election delay: Govt expresses ‘no trust’ in SC’s 3-member bench

Comments

Comments are closed.

Azaree Apr 03, 2023 12:23pm
The constitution of the land must be respected and upheld! No ifs and Buts! Period! Crooks & Corrupt should not be allowed to manipulate the SC!
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Javed Apr 03, 2023 01:09pm
@Azaree, Unfortunately, this whole exercise reveals a major shortcoming of the nation: lack of training to follow rules...rule of law...at every level!
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Maqbool Apr 03, 2023 01:21pm
If it come to pass that the Everyone agrees that the political, security and financial problems are there, then it should be agreed that general elections will be held for all NA and all PA on October 8th, for the next 5 year term with the caretakers coming in 3 months before that date. At least it will stop this immature political chaos .
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MKA Apr 03, 2023 01:57pm
Three blind mice. What a poem.
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Nathan Apr 03, 2023 02:11pm
@Maqbool , That will make Pakistan a true banana republic where its own constitution is not respected and implemented! What joke by the corrupt elite on the 220 million people!
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Miannawazshit Apr 03, 2023 02:13pm
Let us see if these three have the guts to stick with the constitution or are they going to please every one? My bet is that they will fudge the orders/judgement.
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KU Apr 03, 2023 02:24pm
If we were following true democracy, the Supreme Court wouldn't be even hearing the case. The characters in our politics are suspects in many court cases and FIRs, and we expect them to reform the economy and follow democratic norms, not happening, period.
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Love Your Country Apr 03, 2023 04:32pm
Why are elections held on the same day for both assemblies and this is done through out the country? Please explain.
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Love Your Country Apr 03, 2023 04:34pm
@Azaree, two assemblies were dissolved to manipulate the outcome of the elections.
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Love Your Country Apr 03, 2023 04:37pm
@Miannawazshit, any chance of the infamous Doctrine of Neccasity playing its part again you mean?
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TimeToMovveOn Apr 03, 2023 04:58pm
This is not even something to decide. The Constitution already decided 90 days. That day is April 16. What is there to decide again? Pakistan is a banana republic that lost its way, on the way to capture Kashmir.
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