Chief Justice Justice Umer Ata Bandial. — SC website


Chief Justice Justice Umer Ata Bandial. — SC website
  • Same nine-member bench to resume hearing.
  • Ruling parties had filed a petition seeking full court.
  • PPP, PML-N and JUI-F had asked recusal of justices Ahsan and Mazahir.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume the hearing of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa election date suo motu notice today amid the demand for a full court and recusal of two judges from the bench.

According to the Supplementary Cause List issued by the apex court for today, no changes have been made to the bench hearing the case pertaining to the delay in elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The nine-member bench — headed by Chief Justice Justice Umer Ata Bandial — comprises Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah.

On Saturday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) with the apex court, praying for constituting a full bench comprising all the 15 judges besides seeking recusal of Justice Ijazul Ahsen and Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi from the bench.

Interestingly, however, the three parties are not mentioned in the cause list meaning that the court has not yet impleaded them.

Instead, the list mentions two petitioners — the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) and the speakers of the two assemblies, seeking an announcement of a date for holding the elections.

In its first hearing, the court had issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan, the PDM parties, advocate generals of all provinces including advocate general of Islamabad Capital Territory, chief secretaries of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and others.

The court did not issue notices to the governors of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as they enjoy constitutional immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution. The court, however, noted in its order that they could file their stance if they might consider.

It is pertinent to mention that during the preliminary hearing in the instant case, Chief Justice Bandial had remarked that the IHCBA and speakers of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies had filed constitutional petitions seeking the direction of the constitutional authorities for holding elections in the two provinces with the contention that in line with Article 224 of the Constitution, elections to both the assemblies should be held within 90 days after their dissolution.

The chief justice observed that they had to protect the Constitution adding that all the constitutional institutions were bound to implement the Constitution.

Similarly, after taking suo motu notice of the case and constituting a nine-member bench, the chief justice referred to the bench questions for consideration as to who had the constitutional responsibility and authority for announcing the date for holding the general elections to a provincial assembly upon its dissolution.

It is to be seen as to what the court will decide on this constitutional issue and whether it will take into account the demand put forward by the three coalition parties seeking the formation of a bench having all the judges of the apex court as well the demand for recusal of Justice Ahsan and Justice Naqvi from the nine-member bench.


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