SC’s three-member bench starts hearing elections case

The Supreme Court (SC) has continued hearing the PTI’s case on provincial elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) as the coalition government has voiced “complete no-confidence” in the three-member panel presiding over the proceedings. The motion challenges the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to push back the Punjab election until October 8.

The matter is heard by the bench consisting of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar.

Security was increased outside the Supreme Court’s building prior to the session. Videos taken on the scene revealed a sizable group of police officers stationed outside the building wearing bulletproof jackets and headgear.

The Islamabad police stated in a statement that the nation’s capital was under danger from “terrorism.” “There is a concern that malicious individuals wearing suits and ties will enter.”

As a result, it asked attorneys to look out for shady characters. The police added that attendance at the meeting required approval from the SC registrar, but they also noted that attorneys could enter without limitation.

The initial five-member panel hearing the case last week was dissolved as a result of the recusals of Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Aminuddin Khan, and the Supreme Court was the scene of intense drama. To continue with the PTI appeal, the CJP then assembled a smaller panel consisting of himself, Justice Ahsan, and Justice Akhtar.

The PML-N-led government coalition at the capital indicated last week that it would not recognize the judgment of the CJP-led bench that was considering the case involving the provincial elections.

The federal alliance voiced “complete no-confidence” in the three-member bench at a critical meeting over the weekend, pleading with the court to immediately halt the case’s processes.

Asad Umar, the secretary general of the PTI, former Punjab Assembly speaker Mohammad Sibtain Khan, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, and former Punjab legislators Abdul Rehman and Mian Mahmood ur Rashid all argued in favour of the petition that the ECP’s decision was illegal and amounted to amending and subverting the Constitution.

PTI asked for instructions from the central government in the petition to guarantee law and order, the supply of resources and security staff as required by the ECP to conduct the elections.