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Does ECP hold the power to delay elections? CJP raises this question

Does ECP hold the power to delay elections? CJP raises this question

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said that the court wants to know whether or not the ECP holds legal authority to delay elections.

If the ECP holds authority to delay polls, the court will dismiss the case, said the CJP while hearing the petition of PTI on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the chief justice said that the apex court wants ECP to justify delay in general elections to be held in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The CJP stated this on Monday while adjourning the hearing of the case for Tuesday (March 28). The chief justice also expressed his worries about the prevailing political hostility and animosity which he said had been “sown into our polity”.

Meanwhile, the mainstream political parties in the coalition government _ PML-N, PPP, and JUI-F have decided to be part of the hearing of the apex court to submit their viewpoint.

Earlier, on Monday, two senior judges of the Supreme Court have raised questions over the unbridled powers of the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail said the apex court “cannot be dependent on the solitary decision of one man, the chief justice of Pakistan.”

In a 28-page detailed ruling in PTI’s plea over the delay in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections — Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail said that it is important “to revisit the power of ‘one-man show’ the chief justice of Pakistan.”

The development comes shortly after the apex court issued a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on the plea of the PTI regarding the delay in polls.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on PTI’s petition challenging the electoral body’s orders to delay polls in Punjab and KP till October 8.

“This court cannot be dependent on the solitary decision of one man, the Chief Justice, but must be regulated through a rule-based system approved by all Judges of the Court under Article 191 of the Constitution, in regulating the exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 184(3) including the exercise of suo motu jurisdiction; the constitution of Benches to hear such cases; the constitution of Regular Benches to hear all the other cases instituted in this Court; and the constitution of Special Benches,” it read.

Earlier, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took up for hearing today a plea of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) about the date for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

A five-member larger bench of the apex court heard the case. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial was heading the larger bench. 

Apart from the CJP, the bench includes Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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