Supreme Court Orders ECP to Hold Election in Punjab and KP in 90 Days


Newstoday: As reported in The News, Pakistan's Supreme Court directed the (ECP) to hold elections within 90 days in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.The hearing on the suo moto notice was concluded yesterday, and the Supreme Court (SC) declared a divided decision of 3-2. Justices Jamal Mandokhail and Mansoor Ali Shah disagreed with the majority decision and the admissibility of the suo moto notice, but Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar backed the decision.

Judge Yahya Afridi and Judge Athar Minallah supported their stance in their dissenting notes, as did Judge Shah and Justice Mandokhail. "The matter is currently being heard in the high courts, therefore the SC cannot take suo moto notice on the matters that are pending in the high courts," reads the statement. The brief ruling said that the Pakistani Election Commission had failed to fulfil its obligations throughout the election. While the president has the power under the law and the constitution to set the election date in Punjab, the provincial governor is responsible for announcing the election date in KP. The decision said that the president's declaration of the election in KP was "not proper," even if he has the authority to do so in Punjab. This is because the provincial legislature was dissolved after 48 hours since the governor would not follow the CM's advice. If elections in Punjab cannot be held on April 9, as the president had declared, a consultation would be held to choose a new date. The judgment said that if the elections were not held within the allotted period, "Article 254 of the Constitution shall be enforced."

Sabahat Abid


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