Punjab Elections: Election Commission’s review request rejected

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has rejected the Election Commission’s request for a review of the decision to hold elections in Punjab on May 14th. A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial, along with Justice Ajaz ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, is overseeing the proceedings.

The Election Commission’s lawyer, Sajid Swati, presented arguments stating that they wanted to gather additional documents in light of the Supreme Court’s detailed decision regarding the Punjab elections two weeks prior. The lawyer emphasized that the Election Commission’s authority had been extended to determine the election date. Justice Munib Akhtar responded by stating that these matters were unrelated to the present case.

The Election Commission’s lawyer requested more time to prepare their case, but Justice Munib Akhtar pointed out that the decision in question had already been made. Chief Justice Bandial directed the Election Commission’s lawyer to read their response in court immediately.

The lawyer for the Election Commission cited Sections 57 and 58 of the Constitution to assert that the power to set the election date lies with the Election Commission after amendments. Justice Munib Akhtar disagreed, remarking that these points were not relevant to the case.

The lawyer reiterated that the Election Commission is responsible for conducting elections according to the constitution and does not have the authority to extend the election date. Justice Ajaz ul Ahsan clarified that the responsibilities of the Election Commission under the constitution were clear.

Chief Justice Bandial reminded the lawyer that they had stated three times before that the Election Commission did not have the power to determine the election date, and they should move forward.

Justice Munib Akhtar maintained that the Election Commission does not possess the authority to postpone the election date, as the Supreme Court has already made a decision. He advised the Election Commission to present their case in the review petition and to refrain from circling around the same arguments.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has now rejected the Election Commission’s request for a review of the decision to hold elections in Punjab on May 14th. Chief Justice Bandial emphasized that whenever there is a constitutional violation, the court will intervene.

Justice Munib Akhtar emphasized that the constitution is the supreme law, and no one can deviate from it. He stated that if there are difficulties in implementing the constitution, individuals should seek recourse in the courts.

In light of today’s hearing, the Registrar of the Supreme Court has issued notices to all parties involved, including the Election Commission. It’s important to note that on April 4th, the Supreme Court had ordered the holding of elections in Punjab on May 14th.

The Election Commission had previously filed a request for a review of the court’s decision, which has now been rejected.