Supreme Court building in Islamabad. —APP/File

Supreme Court building in Islamabad. —APP/File
  • Speakers KP, Punjab assemblies among petitioners.
  • LHC, PHC are hearing similar petitions.
  • April 9 fixed as election date by Arif Alvi.

ISLAMABAD: Amid controversy over the election date unilaterally fixed by President Arif Alvi for polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders have approached the Supreme Court seeking its intervention in the matter.

According to a The News report, several members of the provincial assemblies including Muhammad Sabtain Khan, speaker Punjab Assembly, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, speaker KP Assembly, and several members of the two assemblies have filed a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

They made the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the federation, President Dr Arif Alvi, the governors of Punjab and KP and others as respondents.

Filed through Advocate Ali Zafar, they prayed to the apex court to direct the respondents to immediately announce the date(s) of election(s) for the provincial assemblies so as to ensure that the elections are held not later than 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

They questioned as to whether the ECP is charged with the duty of holding general elections to the assemblies under Article 218 read with Article 219 of the Constitution.

And whether under Article 218(3) of the Constitution, the commission is duty-bound to hold, organise and conduct elections in accordance with the Constitution and the law, such as the Elections Act, 2017.

Alvi’s move deepens crisis

Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi’s announcement to fix April 9 as the date for elections in Punjab and KP triggered another controversy as to whether he had the authority to do so, with several legal experts and senior federal ministers raising objections on the development.

In the controversial move, Arif Alvi Monday fixed the date hours after the ECP again decided against consulting him on the election dates.

In the exercise of powers conferred upon him under Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act, 2017, President Alvi said he was announcing Sunday, April 9 as the date for elections to the Punjab and KP assemblies.

The constitutional experts are of the view that the matter is likely to land in the apex court for interpretation.

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