Justice Akhtar Observes ECP Decision Obstructing Court Orders On Poll Delay

SC wants reply from Centre, provinces on political meddling in police transfers

The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to delay Punjab Assembly elections until October 8 has become an “obstruction” in the way of the Supreme Court’s orders, according to Justice Munib Akhtar of the apex court. On March 1, the Supreme Court had ordered the ECP to hold the election to the Punjab Assembly within 90 days and to announce the date.

The ECP, however, had postponed the elections for over five months on March 22, citing the deteriorating security situation in the country and the unavailability of security personnel. A five-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising four other judges, heard PTI’s petition challenging the ECP’s orders. The court issued notices to the Federation of Pakistan, ECP, and the governments of Punjab and KP. The PTI lawyer argued that the ECP had thrice committed violations and violated the Constitution, and the ECP does not have the authority to change the date for polls or extend the 90-day deadline.

The CJP sought assurances from the PTI and government, and Justice Ahsan pointed out a contradiction in the ECP’s stance. 

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