The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Federation, Election Commission and Governor KP Gholami Ali on the request of Tehreek-e-Insaf against postponing the elections.
A hearing was held on the petition of Tehreek-e-Insaaf against postponing the elections in the Supreme Court. A five-member larger bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan heard the petition.
The bench also includes Justice Ijazul Hassan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandukhel.
PTI’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar came to the rostrum and argued that the Supreme Court ordered to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after which the Election Commission also issued the election schedule.
The Chief Justice asked the lawyer when this schedule was issued.
The PTI lawyer replied that the election schedule was issued on March 8, the Supreme Court decided to give the date of elections on March 1, while Governor KP did not announce the date in violation of the court order.
The Chief Justice remarked that how the extension of the election date is wrong.
Lawyer Ali Zafar submitted that the President fixed the date of April 30 on the court order, the Election Commission canceled the date given by the President, the court order was violated three times, the Election Commission cannot give the date of the spontaneous election, the second violation is 90 days. After the election date is to be given, if it is accepted that there are no funds, then the election will never be held.
Justice Aminuddin Khan inquired whether the funds have to be released by the federal government or by the provincial government.
Lawyer Ali Zafar said that both governments have to release funds.
Justice Jamal Mandukhel inquired what they wanted from the court. Lawyer Ali Zafar said that the Supreme Court should implement the constitution and its order. Justice Jamal Mandukhel remarked that the implementation of the court order is the work of the High Court.
Lawyer Ali Zafar said that the issue is not only of court orders, the issue of election of two provinces cannot be heard by one High Court, the Supreme Court has decided by using its authority, the authority of the Supreme Court has not ended yet.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that the Election Commission’s decision was an obstacle in the way of the Supreme Court’s order, only the court can decide better whether the orders were violated or not.
Lawyer Ali Zafar said that it is a matter of fundamental rights of the people of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, what is the guarantee that the security situation will improve in October.
The Chief Justice remarked that whether the Election Commission can cancel the date given by the President, there is no decision of the Supreme Court on this matter, the elections are a matter of fundamental rights of the people of the province, important issues are involved in the case, the implementation of the decision. There is also a case.
The Chief Justice remarked that there are examples of extending the date of election in the history of the country, the election was delayed even after the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, but at the time of her martyrdom, the extension of the date was accepted at the national level, and the issue was challenged somewhere. Not done.
The Chief Justice said that the election was delayed due to the change of government in 1988. Is there any provision in the constitution to determine the term of caretaker government?
Lawyer Ali Zafar said that this matter is also related to conducting elections in 90 days. Justice Jamal Mandukhel inquired whether the President’s date was within 90 days or not. Lawyer Ali Zafar said that the objectives of the caretaker government are the elections, which are to be held in 90 days, it is not possible that the elections are held five months ahead of 90 days.
Justice Ejaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the Election Commission was of the opinion that it could not fix the polling date, now the Election Commission has also given a new date for the polling. Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that the order of the Supreme Court is signed by all the five judges, dissenting notes in the judgments are normal. The Chief Justice remarked that the Election Commission has resorted to Article 254.
Lawyer Ali Zafar said that Article 254 can be invoked after the work is done, it cannot be done before the work is done.
The Chief Justice remarked that Article 254 cannot change the term given in the Constitution, and this Article does not allow violation of the Constitution. 218 talks about the transparency of elections, what our leaders have done so far.
The court issued a notice to PTI’s application Profaq, also issued a notice to the Election Commission and Governor KP through the Principal Secretary. The court sought reply from all the parties till tomorrow and adjourned the hearing.
At the end of the hearing, the Chief Justice made important remarks and said that the constitution and the law are made for the protection of the people, the interpretation of the constitution and the law should be based on reality and not in a vacuum. So the parties have to remain peaceful.
The court sought an assurance from the PTI and the government to remain peaceful for transparent elections, and remarked that both sides should decide what the assurance would be.
The Chief Justice remarked that what is good for the people or not should be evaluated by the parties themselves, the constitution is not only for making and overthrowing the government, the court needs assurance from both sides, the elections should be peaceful, transparent and fair.
The Chief Justice said that Election Commission is only a constitutional body, it is a very sad situation and all the parties are helpless.