SC declares ECP decision to postpone Punjab elections unconstitutional

 Punjab assembly elections will be held on May 14

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday declared Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) decision on Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) election null n void. The decision was announced by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar. Punjab Assembly elections will be held on May 14.

The Supreme Court, in its verdict, declared the electoral body's decision to hold polls on October 8 as "unconstitutional". "Constitution and law do not give [ECP] the authority to postpone the election date," said the apex court, adding that the electoral process was at its fifth stage when the ECP announced its decision.

The court remarked that the ECP's order wasted 13 days, saying that the electoral body made an unconstitutional decision by shifting the date for the polls to October 8. The verdict says the last date for submitting appeals against the returning officer's decision is April 10 and the election tribunal will announce the decision on the appeals on April 17.

"Elections in Punjab and KP should be transparent, impartial and as per the law," said the verdict. It added that the federal government should provide Rs 21 billion in funds by April 10 to the ECP and directed the body to present a report on the issue by April 11.

The verdict also said that the Supreme Court will issue instructions to the authorities concerned in case the funds are not provided. "Punjab government should give a security plan to the Election Commission," said the top court's verdict. It added that Punjab's interim cabinet and chief secretary should report to the ECP regarding the electoral staff by April 10.

The apex court also directed the federal government to provide resources including Rangers, FC personnel, and armed forces and extend support in order to hold polls in the provinces.

According to the verdict, the federal government has been directed to share the security plan with the electoral body by April 17. It further urged the ECP to approach the apex court in case the caretaker government of Punjab and the federal government refrain from complying with the judgment.

The judgment addressed the concerns raised regarding the March 1 decision which was based on 3:2, stating that the decision announced by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan has “no legal standing.”

Meanwhile, regarding the elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the three-member bench said during the course of the hearing nobody represented the provincial governor therefore the issue, only till this extent, will remain under debate.


No comments

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Powered by Blogger.