The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) order to postpone intra-party elections after a petition was filed by PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.
Central Secretary PML-Q Kamal Ali Agha filed a petition in the LHC through advocate Safdar Shaheen Pirzada, contending that the electoral watchdog’s order was tantamount to halting the procedure of the party’s election.
He requested that the court annul Chaudhry Shujaat as the PML-Q president, adding that he could become party chief through the intra-party elections if he desired to do so.
Advocate Safdar stated that the impugned order passed by the ECP was against the laws and facts of the case, therefore, not sustainable in the eyes of law and was liable to be set aside.
He further maintained that the ECP could only issue directions or orders according to the necessities of the performance of its functions and duties, but its move in this reference did not fall under the commission’s jurisdiction.
“It is limited to functions of the Commission as prescribed under Elections Act, 2017,” he said.
He argued that Article 175 of the Constitution recognised only those courts that ‘may be established by law’ as per the express wording of the Article.
“It is well-settled that the assumption of power by an authority not mentioned in the Constitution would be illegal, unconstitutional and not liable to be recognised by any court. It is equally trite that any illegal act by a public functionary cannot be protected by the courts” the petition stated.
“Section 208 of the Election Act, 2017 provides that the election of a political party shall be in accordance with the procedure as provided by the Constitution of that political party. That Article 41.1 of the Constitution of PML states that PML Council shall perform the function to elect the President and all other officer bearers of PML,” he highlighted in the petition.
He further asserted that article 49 of the constitution of the PML-Q provided that the working committee shall be the principal executive organ of the PML and shall perform functions, which include considering and passing resolutions, and taking necessary steps with regards to matters arising from time to time relating to the objective of the PML-Q, and to ensure that any actions are not inconsistent or at variance with the aims and objects of the PML-Q.
The lawyer maintained that Shujaat’s actions were in contravention of the objective of the resolution.
He submitted that article 50 of the constitution of the PML-Q further provided that the working committee shall have the power to appoint a central election commission to organize and conduct elections in accordance with the relevant provisions and it shall consist of five members.
It maintained that the ECP passed an illegal order to grant status quo to Shujaat to halt the procedures of the PML elections which were in accordance with the constitution of PML and Elections Act, 2017.
“It is further prayed the court that the operation of the impugned Order may kindly be suspended till the final decision of this petition”, the petition concluded.