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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

CJP Bandial says SC working for the pleasure of Allah

Reiterates court's willingness to consider new points in ECP’s review petition on Punjab election date
Photo: Aaj Tv
Photo: Aaj Tv

The hearing on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s review petition on the election date for Punjab resumed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar is hearing the review petition.

When the court met on Wednesday, the attorney general of Pakistan approached the rostrum and picked the thread from yesterday, when the three-member bench had objected to government raising new points at the review stage.

The attorney general said that yesterday the court asked as to why the ECP had failed to raise some of the points earlier. The second point was about the government insistence on the court judgement being a 4-3 ruling in government’s favour and another point was about affecting the election of the National Assembly, the attorney general said.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial interrupted him saying that the government must not go into a panic mood. “Aap ko ghabrana nahi chahiye”.

He said that court had met to hear the case and it would consider any fresh point if raised by the government. The past would not be used against the government, he said.

A similar assurance was offered by the CJP on Tuesday.

The CJP said that the judges were sitting there not for the government, but for the pleasure of Allah.

He asked the attorney general to tell his “friends” not to say such thing at ’‘our door“’ and not to use harsh words in the parliament either.

“We work for the pleasure of Allah, that’s why we are sitting quietly,” said the CJP.

He also told the attorney general to not offer “clarifications” because the court was sitting there with “a clean heart.”

“Whoever asked you to explain, let them know [about our position],” said the chief justice.

May 23 hearing

The court began hearing the review petition on Tuesday. The ECP has sought a review of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s May 4 judgement when the apex court ordered holding elections in the Punjab province on May 14. The date has already passed without any election and there is possibility that the Shehbaz Sharif government could be disqualified for contempt of court.

However, the top court has so far refrained from initiating a contempt hearing.

The rights of millions of people in the country were linked to elections, Justice Munib Akhtar said on Tuesday.

At the hearing on Tuesday, ECP lawyer Sajeel Swati sought time to study the replies submitted by the federal and Punjab governments as well as the PTI.

The PTI submitted its response only on Tuesday.

“I think the PTI has not submitted its response yet,” the CJP said. To this, Swati said that the ECP had yet not received the responses of PTI or any other political party.

“Please give us a chance to review all the responses,” the ECP lawyer requested. But, CJP Bandial asked Swati to present his arguments in the case.

“If you want to raise any new point in the next hearing, you can do it,” the top judge remarked, asking about the new grounds that could be taken in the review petition.

In its reply, the PTI urged the court to reject the ECP’s review petition. “The ECP has raised new points in the review petition,” it said and added that the commission intended to present fresh arguments through the plea.

The former ruling party added that the top court has not given an election date in its decision, adding that the SC set a 90-day deadline for holding polls.

“The president gave April 30 date for elections and the ECP changed the date,” it said, “the Supreme Court has the power to review the ECP”.

The party alleged that the ECP wanted to revive the “doctrine of necessity”, which it claimed was “buried”.

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Supreme Court

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Elections

Punjab Elections

May 24 2023

ECP review petition Punjab election