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SC bench hearing delay in elections in Punjab and KP dissolved

SC bench hearing delay in elections in Punjab and KP dissolved

ISLAMABAD: The five-member bench of the Supreme Court dissolved on Thursday when a judge, Justice Aminuddin Khan recused himself from sitting in the bench.

He said that he has given his viewpoint on Wednesday and he don’t want to be part of the bench anymore. Justice Aminuddin Khan was the part of three-member special bench of the SC hearing a case. He was also included in the five-member larger bench of the court hearing delay in elections in Punjab and KP.

Therefore, chief justice of Pakistan is expected to reconstitute the SC bench to resume hearing of the case.

On Wednesday, two judges of the Supreme Court _ Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Aminuddin Khan issued an order wherein they suspended all the ongoing suo moto cases hearing and those in the special benches.

In their written order, both judges said that the suo moto case hearing cannot be conducted as long as the laws are changed. Both the judges were part of a special three-member bench of the apex court.

Meanwhile, during Wednesday’s hearing, once again the confusion prevailed in the Supreme Court’s decision about elections in Punjab and KP within 90 days.

Justice Mandokhail again pointed out during the hearing that the SC’s decision of elections lacked the required majority of judges. Justice Mandokhel said that the apex court and the President Dr Alvi were not supposed to issue orders to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

At the beginning of the hearing today, Justice Mandokhail further explained his remarks from the previous hearing and said that it had caused “great confusion”.

“I stand by my detailed order,” the justice said. He explained that one part of the judgment was about the administrative powers.

Justice Mandokhail said that the chief justice would be asked to constitute a judges’ committee to look into the rules of administrative powers.

Mandokhail said, “In the second part of the verdict, four of us judges rejected the suo motu notice and pleas.” The judgment by the four judges was the order of the court, he added.

He also pointed out that the chief justice did not issue any order about elections.

“How did the president Alvi announce a date when there wasn’t a verdict, how did the election commission issue the schedule,” he asked.

Justice Mandokhail also stated that they can check the file of court’s records, it does not have the order of the court.

“An order of the court is signed by all the judges,” Justice Mandokhail declared.

CJP offers cut in judges salary to generate funds for elections

On Tuesday, the chief justice of Pakistan floated the idea of reducing pay of judges and others to generate funds to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The CJP gave this idea on Tuesday before adjourning the hearing of the case for Wednesday. The CJP also said that the ECP wrote the decision to delay polls in a haste.

During the hearing, chief justice Bandial said that democracy cannot function without the rule of law.

Does ECP hold authority to delay polls?

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

Moreover, 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. The CJP, however, did not accept their request and kept it pending.

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.”

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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