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Nine-member SC bench to take up suo motu notice on Punjab, KP polls today

ISLAMABAD: A larger bench of nine judges of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, will take up for hearing today (Thursday) the issue of delay in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections.

The 9-member bench of the apex court comprises Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Mansoor Ali Shah, Muneeb Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Jamal Mandokhel, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, and Athar Minallah.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial had taken a suo motu notice on Wednesday following President Dr. Arif Alvi’s announcement of setting April 9 as the provincial assembly elections date, the government has denounced the decision, deeming it to be in violation of the constitution and illegal.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan has constituted a nine-member bench to hear the suo motu case today (Thursday) at 2 p.m.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has requested the opinions of legal experts and the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) regarding the delay in elections. However, no official statement has been released yet.

The issue of delay in elections was referred to the chief justice by a two-member bench of the Supreme Court. The bench comprised Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi in the case of Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar on February 16th.

SC takes suo motu notice

The court declared that the bench will examine and determine the appropriate entity authorized to set the date for elections. Moreover, the constitutional obligations of both the federal government and the provinces in this regard will also be discussed.

Additionally, the court will determine the responsible entity for conducting the elections. The court will also discuss the timeline for its fulfillment in accordance with the constitution.

The court’s statement stated, “It is the government’s responsibility to conduct elections in Punjab and KP according to the Constitution.”

Furthermore, SC stated that two provincial assemblies were also dissolved on Jan 14 and 18.

“Under Article 224 (2), polls should be held within 90 days of the assembly dissolution. The Constitution mandates that polls be held within 90 days.”

Islamabad High Court also requested SC for the date of the elections. Additionally, Speakers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also requested elections.

Read more: Dar, US Ambassador Discuss Bilateral Ties As CDB Okays $700m For Pakistan

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