KP, Punjab election: 5 judges resume SC listening to after 4 disassociate themselves from suo motu – Pakistan

In an surprising growth, 5 judges of the Supreme Courtroom — as an alternative of a nine-member bench — on Monday resumed listening to the suo motu proceedings concerning the delay within the announcement of a date for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The unique bench included:

  • Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial
  • Justice Ijazul Ahsan
  • Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah
  • Justice Munib Akhtar
  • Justice Yahya Afridi
  • Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi
  • Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail
  • Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar
  • Justice Athar Minallah

The bench has been reconstituted to a five-member bench after 4 judges — Justice Ahsan, Justice Afridi, Justice Naqvi and Justice Minallah — disassociated themselves from the suo motu listening to. All 4 have written dissenting notes in the Feb 23 order.

Coalition authorities in addition to the Pakistan Bar Council had objected to the inclusion of Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi on the earlier listening to on Feb 24, whereas division within the bench had emerged within the very first listening to after Justice Mandokhail objected to the suo motu discover itself as “unjustified”.

The reconsituted bench started listening to the case round 1:30pm after two delays in its scheduled timings of 11:30am and 12:30pm.

petitioned the Supreme Courtroom for the formation of a full court docket — comprising all judges besides Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi — to conduct the suo motu proceedings.

The joint petition, filed by senior counsel Farooq H. Naek, Mansoor Usman Awan and Kamran Murtaza on behalf of the PPPP, PML-N and JUI-F, respectively, says the prayer has been made “in the perfect curiosity of justice and to strengthen the individuals’s confidence within the Supreme Courtroom”.

It’s crucial that the complete court docket — minus the 2 judges, who’ve already disclosed their minds within the matter — be constituted to listen to the case within the curiosity of justice and equity, contends the petition, which has been moved underneath Order 33 Rule 6 of the Supreme Courtroom Guidelines 1980.

The petition argued that when the case was taken up by the nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Feb 23, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail learn out a observe and raised objections to the impact that for the reason that two-member bench consisting of Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi had already rendered a particular opinion on the problem as recorded within the court docket’s Feb 16 order, it will quantity to a violation of Article 10A if they continue to be a part of the bigger bench.

Justice Mandokhail, the ruling events recalled, had additional said that it was not acceptable to refer the matter to the CJP underneath Article 184(3) and that the suo motu motion taken by the latter was not justified. Later, the Supreme Courtroom on the identical date issued notices to the related stakeholders and that the candidates appeared earlier than the court docket on Feb 24 by their counsel and skim a joint assertion, searching for the recusal of Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi from any matter involving the PPPP, PML-N and JUI-Pakistan and their management.

In keeping with the petition, these circumstances have raised a number of questions of immense authorized, constitutional and public significance as recorded within the CJP’s observe whereas invoking suo motu jurisdiction.

January 14 and January 18, respectively, in an try and pave the best way for snap polls.

On Jan 24, the ECP wrote letters to the principal secretaries of Punjab and KP governors, suggesting elections in Punjab between April 9 and 13, and in KP between April 15 and 17.

On the similar time, the PTI had on Jan 27 approached the LHC searching for orders for the Punjab governor to right away announce a date for an election within the province following which the court docket had directed the ECP to right away announce the date for elections after session with the governor.

In the meantime, President Arif Alvi had additionally urged the ECP on Feb 8 to “instantly announce” the date for polls in KP and Punjab and put an finish to “harmful speculative propaganda” on each the provincial meeting and common elections.

Nonetheless, thus far, the governors of the 2 provinces have refra­ined from offering any date for the polls on a number of pretexts.

Final week, President Alvi had invited Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for an pressing assembly concerning consultations on election dates however the ECP instructed him he had no role within the announcement of dates for common elections to provincial assemblies and the fee was conscious of its constitutional obligation on this regard.

Subsequently, the president on Monday unilaterally introduced April 9 because the date for holding common elections for the Punjab and KP assemblies.

The transfer drew sharp criticism from his political opponents, who accused him of appearing like a PTI employee whereas the ECP stated it will announce the ballot schedule solely after the “competent authority” fixes the date.

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