The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday in its verdict declares the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) 22nd March order to postpone Elections in Punjab null and void ordering to hold poll by 14th of May.
A three-member bench heading by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar — announced the reserved verdict on the PTI’s petition challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s order postponing the elections in Punjab and KP.
The Supreme Court declared the ECP’s order of postponing the provincial assembly elections until 8th October 2023 as “unconstitutional” and ordered the government to release Rs21 billion funds for elections in Punjab by 10th April.
The verdict said that the election programme for the general election to the Punjab Assembly stands “revived and restored” immediately with a few modifications.
Regarding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa polls, the SC three-member bench said the issue will remain under debate as during the course of the hearing nobody represented the provincial governor..
Key Features of today’s verdict
- ECP order of March 22 declared unconstitutional
- SC directs ECP to hold elections in Punjab on May 14
- Govt directed to provide Rs21bn in funds to ECP by April 10
- ECP asked to submit a report to SC on the issue by April 11
- Govt directed to share the security plan with ECP by April 17
- Apex court to continue hearing case regarding elections in KP
Law Minister Tarar regretted the decision of the three-member bench of the apex court saying it will further aggravate the constitutional and political crises.
“Eyebrows are being raised over the six judges’ bench of the court formed today,” law minister said. He appealed the chief justice to “unite the house, none will be able to object over the united decisions”, he said.
Ahead of the today case verdict, the Ministry of Defence submitted its report to the Supreme Court (SC) through Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan detailing the availability of security personnel for election duties.
The hearings in the case, which lasted over a week, witnessed hot drama after Justice Mandukhel and Justice Aminuddin excused themselves from hearing the case. However, the coalition government — which had been demanding a full court to hear the case, raised objection on the bench.
Earlier PDM government also approves the Bill in order to sack the power of Supreme Court Chief Justice of raking the Suo Motu notices.
Separately, a resolution was also passed in the NA last week calling for the formation of a full SC bench to hear constitutional matters.The resolution, moved by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan is a constitutional body and any trespassing in ECP’s domain should be avoided and let the commission hold polling in a conducive environment as per its prerogative.
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar has also said the government will not accept a hasty Supreme Court’s decision on a sensitive and important issue.Azam Nazeer Tarar regretted that the suo motu proceedings were initiated by a nine-member SC bench, which had been relegated to three members.
He was of the view that general elections across the country should be held simultaneously for the sake of political and economic stability.
Remember that after ECP announces to delay the election till 8th October after which PTI had challenged the election commission’s decision to change the date of election in Punjab and KP.
Now today after a week hearing supreme court three member bench directs ECP in its verdict to hold Punjab Elections by 14th May. Supreme Court also issues orders to Pak Army to provide security for Elections.