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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday challenged the objections raised by Supreme Court registrar on a petition against the decision of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), as the party sought the apex court’s intervention to ratify the Digital Census 2023.

In its appeal, the PTI said the objections raised by Registrar Office are of a ‘judicial nature’ and “it cannot raise such objections”.

“The registrar’s office should remove the objections and schedule the petition for hearing,” it added. It said that the relevant authorities may be directed to declare election dates for elections to National Assembly, Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assemblies.

Digital Census 2023: SC returns PTI petition against CCI decision

“The decisions by the CCI dated 05.08.2023, Bureau of Statistics dated 08.08.2023, and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) dated 17.08.2023, all which stem from the same illegal and unconstitutional publication of the 2023 census, be declared unconstitutional and void ab initio’, it added.

Besides, it said that the statutory provisions of the Election Act whereby the ECP has purported to act within its mandate be declared ultra vires of the Constitution, adding therefore, in any case, it is incorrect to say that the prayers are multifarious as they all stem from the same subject matter.

“…that none of the objections mentioned in the Impugned Order hold any ground. The said objections are frivolous in nature and liable to be overturned, and the petition is liable to be admitted and fixed for hearing before an appropriate bench of apex court,” it added.

The petition said that the “impugned order of the registrar returning the petition as being not entertain-able may kindly be set aside, and the petition may very graciously be ordered to be entertained, admitted and fixed before an honourable bench of this august court for hearing”.

Last week, the SC registrar had returned a petition with objections filed by PTI against the decision of CCI as the party sought the apex court’s intervention to ratify the Digital Census 2023.

The PTI had filed a petition against a unanimous decision taken by the prime minister and chief ministers of the four provinces during a meeting of CCI to approve the Digital Census 2023 for publication.

The apex court registrar, via assistant registrar (Civil-II), noted that the PTI had challenged the August 5, 2023, decision of the CCI under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.

The SC registrar raised seven objections against the petition. The first one noted that the petitioners had failed to point out as to what questions of public importance in the case are involved regarding the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution to directly invoke the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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