Supreme Court (SC) verdict in elections delay case |All eyes on Supreme Court ahead of decision on electoral plea
(Voice news ) – Today, a three-member bench of Pakistan’s
Supreme Court is expected to rule on a petition challenging the Election
Commission of Pakistan’s delay in holding elections in Punjab and Khyber
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked PPP counsel Farooq H.
Naek at the start of yesterday’s hearing if his party had boycotted the
Mansoor Awan, the Attorney General of Pakistan, ECP lawyers
Irfan Qadir and Sajeel Swati, and PTI lawyer Ali Zafar were also in the
courtroom as the hearing bagan. Finance and defence secretaries were also
How can you boycott the case while also attending the
hearing?” Justice Akhtar asked. “How can anyone boycott the case
proceedings?” he wondered. He claimed that newspaper reports indicated
that the government had boycotted the proceedings, making it impossible for him
(Mr Naek) to present arguments. He also requested that Mr Naek read the joint
statement, expressing his displeasure with the language used in it.
When the CJP asked the PPP lawyer if he wanted to
participate in the proceedings, Mr Naek assured him that his party would not
boycott the hearing. Something else was written in the newspapers, according to
Justice Bandial, and the PPP counsel responded that his party had reservations
about the petition’s viability. The CJP inquired of Mr.
Justice Bandial then inquired about the AGP’s instructions.
Mr Awan responded that the government was bound by the Constitution and could
not participate in the proceedings. He claimed, however, that the PTI petition
was based on the Supreme Court’s March 1 verdict, in which the apex court
directed the president to choose a date for elections in Punjab and the
governor to choose a date for elections in KP. According to him, the KP
governor did not set a date until the petition was filed.
The CJP questioned how the ECP could have set the date of
October 8 for elections.
He claimed that only the Supreme Court had the authority to
postpone elections and that the Election Commission of Pakistan lacked such
The CJP also stated that the Supreme Court circular did not
overturn the order of a bench led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
Meanwhile, Justice Ahsan stated that the issue at hand was
the ECP’s decision to postpone elections. He stated that the commission was
obligated to follow the court’s orders
According to the AGP, the first round of hearings were
presided over by a nine-member bench. “On February 21, we received the
court’s order, which included dissenting notes from two judges.” “In
the first hearing, the two judges dismissed the case,” he said.
The CJP, on the other hand, stated that only one judge had
dismissed the proceedings. “In his dissenting note, Justice Athar Minallah
did not mention rejecting the request,” he said.
Justice Yahya Afridi had agreed with Justice Minallah
in his note,” the AGP contended, to which Justice Bandial responded that
the court understood Awan’s position.
Justice Akhtar recalled that on February 27, a nine-member
bench had petitioned the CJP for the bench’s reconstitution. He added that the
new bench had five judges. “The case was dismissed by the two judges in
the first hearing,” he explained.
CJP Bandial also stated that judicial harmony is critical
for the Supreme Court. He stated that while judicial proceedings were made
public, consultations among judges were regarded as an internal matter.
The PML-N government’s new petition on electoral plea
Hours earlier, the Shehbaz Shareef -led government filed a new
petition in the Supreme Court, requesting that the bench hearing the election
delay case be reconstituted without the judges who heard the suo motu notice.
Mansoor Usman Awan, the Attorney General of Pakistan, filed
a miscellaneous plea ahead of the scheduled hearing of the suo motu on the PTI
petition challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) order postponing
the Punjab election to October 8.
Justices Mandokhail and Aminuddin had previously recused
themselves from hearing the case. The bench was divided twice after the two
judges decided not to serve. The three-member bench summoned the interior and
During the previous hearing, the Supreme Court denied the
Attorney General of Pakistan’s request to form a full court. The arguments of
PTI lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar and Election Commission lawyer Sajeel Swati in
the case were completed.
During the previous hearing, the chief justice stated that
there would be important news on Monday. “We’ve shown restraint,” he
said. He observed that the government would have to forget the past.
It should be noted that in the election case, the Pakistan
Peoples Party, the PML-N, and the JUI-F have requested to become parties and
the full court’s constitution.
A number of officers from the Islamabad police, Frontier
Corps, and Rangers have been stationed inside and outside the Supreme Court.
The federation’s request on electoral plea
The petition asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the election
delay case in light of the March 1 majority (4-3) order/judgment. It also
stated that the proceedings in the current petition should be postponed due to
the order issued by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, which postponed all proceedings in
suo motu matters.
“In light of the submissions made in paragraphs 11 and
12, this Hon’ble Bench may graciously recuse itself from hearing the instant
petition, and a bench comprised of all remaining Hon’ble Judges of this court,
who did not hear SMC No. 1/2023, CPs No 1 and 2 of 2023, may kindly be formed
to decide the questions raised herein,” the plea requested.
Lawyers express their support for CJ
After overcoming obstacles, a large number of lawyers
arrived at the Supreme Court and expressed their support for Chief Justice
Bandial. Azam Swati, the leader of the PTI, is also present. On the arrival of
the judges, some lawyers raised pro-judiciary slogans.
PTI blasts government for undermining the constitution
PTI leaders accused the Shehbaz-led government of
“attacking” the Constitution, blaming the PML-N for putting pressure
on the country’s highest court.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in
Karachi on Sunday that the ruling coalition’s decision to file a reference
against three Supreme Court judges was a signal to put pressure on them.
The Supreme Court will be urged to resolve the uncertainty
On Sunday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met with PML-N
legal leaders to discuss the case’s potential outcomes. Azam Nazir Tarar, Law
Minister, briefed the participants on the legal complexities of the case and
the likelihood of the three-member apex court bench imposing responsibilities
for violating its March 1 verdict.
According to PML-N leader Malik Ahmed Khan, they will first
try to persuade the court to clarify the “ambiguity” surrounding its
March 1 order in the suo motu proceedings. He stated that they would again
demand that a full-court bench be formed to hear the case in order to avoid any
controversy, and that if that request was denied, they would consider
boycotting the court proceedings.