Punjab, KP election suo motu: Five member bench adjourns hearing till tomorrow

Matter has to be completed tomorrow, CJP Bandial; Where governor fails president will come, Justice Mansoor

The Five member bench of the Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the elections suo motu case till tomorrow.

“If the governor dissolves the assembly on advice and does not give a date it does not mean that the president should give a date,” Justice Muneeb said.

Justice Mansoor Ali remarked that where the governor fails the president will come. He asked, “You are saying that if the Governor does not give a date then the Election Commission should give an additional date?”

Barrister Ali Zafar argued that it was the responsibility of the Election Commission to conduct elections. He further said that if the Governor dissolves the Assembly the date will also be given by him.

On this the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that otherwise the Election Commission will do the Act. On which Ali Zafar argued that if the Governor does not give the date the President will give the date. “Can the court hear this case or not? In any event, the matter has to be completed tomorrow,” remarked the CJP. “How can the vision of parliament be reviewed?” the chief justice asked.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that cricket was being played all over Pakistan but elections could not be held.

Earlier, five judges of the Supreme Court resumed hearing of the elections suo motu proceedings over the delay in the announcement of a date for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after four judges disassociated themselves from the bench.

CJP Bandial announced that four judges had withdrawn from the bench before to the start of the hearing. “The rest of the court’s bench will keep on hearing the case,” said the CJP. He stated that the court will continue hearing the issue for the interpretation of the Constitution.

The panel which formerly consisted of nine SC judges had been reduced to five on Monday when Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Athar Minallah disassociated themselves.

The PML-N, PPP and JUI-F coalition parties asked two SC judges Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi to withdraw them from the case during the last hearing by submitting a note to the Supreme Court.

Parties further demanded that the two judges should never sit on a bench hearing a matter involving these three parties or their leadership.