Islamabad [Pakistan]May 15 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday started hearing a plea by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to reconsider an April 4 order calling for elections to be held in Punjab on May 14, Geo News reported.
In early April, a judiciary ruled that the voting body’s decision to hold elections in Punjab on October 8 this year instead of April 30 was “illegal” and issued an order for the election to be held on May 14.
Instead of following the order, the ECP asked the Supreme Court to review its decision.
The appeal was heard by a three-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, which also included Judges Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar.
In a 14-page petition, the ECP asked the Supreme Court to review its decision because the judiciary “has no power to give an election date”.
According to Geo News, the ECP has said that “such power exists elsewhere in the Constitution, but certainly not in the courts,” citing various legalities and rationale behind its statement.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was instructed on April 14 to allocate 21 billion Pakistani rupees (PKR) from its holdings to the ECP to ensure elections are held as scheduled.
However, the ECP informed the Supreme Court that it has not received the funds required to hold the Punjab assembly elections on May 14.
On April 20, CJP Bandial said the Supreme Court may reschedule the election if all political parties can reach an agreement and end the ongoing deadlock, Geo News reported.
Subsequently, in a three-page judgment in the April 27 Punjab election postponement case, the Supreme Court said its April 4 decision ordering the ECP to hold the Punjab election on May 14 “stands firm” as the two sides could not agree despite being called. Ordered multiple times, but still agreed.
Imran Khan’s party has time and is now calling for early elections in Punjab but has been unable to agree with the ruling coalition.
Notably, the Punjab parliament was dissolved in January on the orders of PTI chairman Imran Khan to force the ruling coalition to seek early elections. But the federal government has been saying this year’s election will be held in October or November.
PTI is protesting the election authority’s decision to postpone the Punjab elections until October. In a ruling dated April 4, the Supreme Court ruled that the ECP’s decision was unlawful, invalid ab initio and without legal force, Geo News reported. (Arnie)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)