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Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
13 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Govt rejects SC ruling as 4-3 minority judgment

Attorney general, law minister say there was no need to file even a review
Attorney General Shehzad Ata Elahi (left) and Law Minister Azam  Nazir Tarar speak to reporters. Screengrab
Attorney General Shehzad Ata Elahi (left) and Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar speak to reporters. Screengrab

The attorney general of Pakistan and the federal law minister have rejected the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan judgment for holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces within 90 days, saying the apex court has given a 3-4 minority judgment.

The two top law officers referred to a footnote given in the 13-page short order.

The note reads as follows:

Initially a nine member bench heard this matter. The aforementioned two Hon’ble Judges [Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Athar Minallah] decided the matter by dismissing the said petitions. Later on two other Hon’ble Judges disassociated themselves from the Bench for personal reasons and as the two aforementioned judges had dismissed the matter, the Bench was reconstituted into a five-member bench vide order dated 27.02.2023. The decisions of the aforementioned two Hon’ble Judges dated 23.2.2023 form part of the record of this case.

Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar said that the government believes the Supreme Court had rejected the petitions on giving an election date.

He also said that the issue was still pending before the Lahore and Peshawar high courts which give provide further interpretation.

He said on February 23 Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Athar Minallah had declared that the petitions were not maintainable. These two judges later recused themselves from the case but the footnote in today’s judgment clearly said that the two judges had dismissed the petitions and their rulings were part of Wednesday’s judgment, he said.

“After this there is no need for a review or further interpretation… We believe that these petitions have been rejected by 3-4 and now the decision should be done in the high courts,” the minister said.

When reporters pressed him that the CJP had said it was a 3-2 majority judgment in favour of the petitions, the law minister said that people who did not agree with his interpretation could get it interpreted (by courts).

The minister also said that the biggest breach of the Constitution was committed by the president.

The minister refuted the claims that the government was running away from holding elections.

At the end of the press talk, the minister also again said that the court had given a 4-3 minority judgment and it will be interpreted by the high courts.

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