Feb 8 – final date for general elections as SC disposes of identical petitions

ISLAMABAD, Nov 03 (Alliance News): The Supreme Court on Friday disposed of identical petitions as the final date for general elections had been agreed during a consultative meeting between the President and the Chief Election Commissioner.

The apex court, in its order, said that the issue of elections’ date had been resolved with the consent of all parties and the date of general elections had been agreed on February 8.

 

 

A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Amin Ud Din Khan and Justice Athar Minallah heard the petitions seeking holding of elections within 90 days of the assemblies’ dissolution.

The court, in its written order, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawyer Ali Zafar had given a reference of the President’s letter to the Chief Election Commissioner dated September 12. It also give the reference of section 5 of Article 48 of the Constitution and section-57(1) of Election Act.

The SC observed that the matter was supposed to be addressed between the President and the ECP, but it was brought to the apex court unnecessary. The President could have approached the SC under Article 187 of the Constitution. The top court took up the matter as many identical petitions had been moved.

The order said that the top court had not interfered into the affairs of constitutional institutions of President Office and ECP. Every institution was constitutionally bound, it added.

It further stated that the SC only played the role of a facilitator between the President and the ECP. Both the institutions should remain in their respective constitutional limits, however, being the highest constitutional position, the responsibility of the President was more.

It further said,”We should not only start implementing the Constitution but also learn from the past. Every violation of the Constitution has serious effects not only on the people of Pakistan but also on the region.”

The SC said that the courts had also been getting involved in unnecessary matters.

It added that in the recent past a prime minister was removed by a no-confidence motion. The Constitution was clear that a majority of the members of the assembly could pass a no-confidence motion.

A political crisis arose in the country after the no-confidence motion, and and the SC took notice of the political issue, it added.

The order said the President dissolved the National Assembly after the no-confidence motion, which was an unconstitutional act.

After the motion of no-confidence, it added, the President could not dissolve the Assembly on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The people couldn’t be kept away from the elected representatives.

The constitutional institutions could make important decisions only in public interest, the order added.

The court said,”It is hoped that all the constitutional institutions would show prudence in the future. Surprisingly, the President did not have the power to dissolve the Assembly, but he did, while he didn’t use his power to give a date for elections.”

On the query of the bench, advocate generals of all provinces said that they had also no objection regarding the election date. The chief justice remarked that the court was also bounding the provinces for elections.

Earlier, Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan presented the document signed by the President with regard to the date of general elections. He said that the ECP had also issued a notification pertaining to the date of general polls.

It was agreed to hold the polls across the country on February 8, he said.

The AGP also read out the minutes of the President and the Chief Election Commissioner.

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