ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday resumed hearing on petitions seeking timely elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faiz Isa and comprising Justice Athar Minullah and Justice Aminuddin Khan is hearing the petitions.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others had filed petitions to ensure that elections in the country are held on time.
In the previous hearing, CJP Isa had said that it was “not possible” to meet the 90-day deadline for holding elections and lamented the lack of preparedness of the petitioners.
The CJP, in his written order, said the petitioners were arguing that the census was notified as an excuse to delay the elections.
The petitioners said that holding elections within 90 days is a constitutional requirement. According to the petitioners, it is not possible to hold elections within 90 days after delimitation of constituencies and census,” the court said.
He also said that the bench had to answer two questions, one was who was responsible for announcing the election date and the other was whether the elections could be held within 90 days.
After this the court issued notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government in the matter.
At the beginning of the hearing, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawyer Farooq Naik told the court that his party has submitted a request to become a party in the case.
After this, PTI’s lawyer Ali Zafar started his arguments and said that the party has limited its petition only to the demand for timely elections.
“As per the Constitution, elections should be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies,” he stressed.
To this, CJP Isa said that the petition demanding voting within a period of 90 days has now become ineffective. He commented, “In the last hearing the court was told that it was impossible to hold elections within 90 days.”
After this Zafar said that PTI only wants elections.
More to follow…