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Supreme Court Rejects Election Commission’s Appeal Against Formation of Election Tribunals

A two-member bench of the Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Election Commission of Pakistan challenging the formation of election tribunals by the Lahore High Court. The case is now referred to the Supreme Court committee for the establishment of a larger bench.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Qazi Faez Isa, expressed concerns about the frequent use of ordinances and the inclination to create disputes in the country. During the hearing of the Election Commission’s appeal, he questioned the necessity of turning every issue into a controversy.

The bench, comprising Justice Isa and Justice Naeem Afghan, heard arguments from the Election Commission’s lawyer, Sikandar Bashir, and PTI lawyer, Salman Akram Raja. Justice Isa inquired why the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Justice couldn’t meet to resolve disputes, suggesting that if every matter is contentious, Parliament might as well be dissolved. He criticized the use of ordinances as undermining Parliament’s authority.

Chief Justice Isa referenced a previous dispute between the President and the Election Commission over the election date and questioned the need for communications from the High Court’s Registrar.

The hearing was initially adjourned until 11:30 am. Upon resumption, Chief Justice Isa reiterated that the Constitution clearly empowers the Election Commission to form election tribunals, specifically citing Article 219 Section C. He emphasized that the Supreme Court’s duty is to uphold the Constitution and the law, rather than judicial decisions. He noted that complexities arise each time the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution.

On June 12, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Malik Shahzad Ahmad had ordered the formation of eight election tribunals, a decision that the Election Commission of Pakistan subsequently challenged in the Supreme Court.

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