Aaj English TV

Tuesday, May 21, 2024  
12 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Elections could be delayed over a lack of funds: Justice Shaiq Usmani

Adds that elections cannot be carried out on instructions only
File photo.
File photo.

The Supreme Court verdict ordering elections to the Punjab and KP assemblies could face another roadblock if the Election Commission cites a inavailability of funds, Justice (r) Shaiq Usmani said.

The legal expert and former high court judge made the remarks in Faisla Aap Ka on Aaj TV on Wednesday.

Usmani said that the matter of the 3-2 judgement being turned into a matter of 4-3 by the government parties was ‘beyond comprehension’ since the final bench hearing the case was comprised of five judges.

However, his most important remarks were about a possible issue that might hinder the implementation of the SC’s order of conducting elections in 90 days.

Usmani said that in a country of over 220 million people, elections cannot simply be conducted on the basis of someone’s instructions.

“It is not practically possible,” Usmani said.

He added that if the chief election commissioner told the court that the funds to conduct an election are not available, the court will have to listen to him.

He also said that the need to consult the president in section 57 was normally understood to be in the context of general elections, but it should not be a problem if he is consulted on provincial elections too. However, it remains to be seen if the ECP will opt for that route.

Speaking in the show, Pakistan People’s Party leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the SC should have settled the matter by creating a full-court bench so there would be no room for any misterpretation.

He added that more clarity in the decision would have been better for everyone.

“In this polarised environment, there will be mud-slinging (on the decision,” he added

Kaira, who is part of the government as a special assistant, also said that one constitutional clause asks for elections to be conducted withing 90 days but another section of the clause says that elections should only be held under caretaker governments.

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