ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s review petition against its April 4 order on May 23.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, on May 15, had issued notices to the respondents, Attorney General for Pakistan and the Advocate Generals of the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The deadline fixed by the bench for general elections in the Punjab and KP has already expired on May 14. The same bench has also disposed of the petition seeking same day elections across the country.
The federal government has not provided the funds and security personnel to the Commission, and have also not filed the review petition. The chief justice twice during the same day elections noted that no one has challenged their order to hold elections in the Punjab on May 14.
The ECP in its review petition, filed on May 3, contended that the framers of the Constitution have given the judicial institution a pivotal role in safeguarding and preserving the Constitution, but have at the same defined the ambit and scope of judicial intervention under sub-article 2 of the Article 175 of the Constitution.
The Commission has asked the Court to recall its impugned judgment dated 04.04.2023, in the interest of justice and equity.
It said that the superior courts of the country have been granted a special power under Article 199 and Article 184 (3) of the Constitution to judicially review actions/ decisions of the public bodies. As per trite law of this land, while exercising the power of judicial review, superior courts look at the process of arriving at a decision but never substitute their own decisions in lieu of the public bodies.
This division of power between different organs, popularly known as trichotomy of powers, is the hallmark of the Constitution and essential sine qua non for smooth and efficient functioning of the country. This well-embedded constitutional concept isolates the three organs from interfering and treading into the domain of the other.
The judicial institution has been conferred the power to judicially review the actions and decision of the executive while at the same time being restrained from exercising the executive authority itself.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023