After the dissolution of the five-member bench, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) is scheduled to recommence the hearing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) plea concerning elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab today.
The PTI’s appeal against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polls in the two provinces will be heard by the top court.
The PTI dissolved its governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in January this year at party chief Imran Khan’s behest as part of their strategy to win early elections. The Imran Khan-led party has sought early election ever since the party’s government was overthrown in April last year.
The hearing could not take place on Thursday as Justice Aminuddin Khan, a member of the bench hearing the case, recused himself from the proceedings, citing a Supreme Court order to halt proceedings under Article 184(3).
Today, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial will lead the four-strong bench to resume the hearing. According to the Supreme Court, the bench will resume hearing the case at 11:30 am today (Friday) without Justice Khan.
The original bench comprised CJP Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Aminuddin, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail. However, Justice Aminuddin left the bench saying that the three-member bench headed by Justice Faiz Isa has decided to postpone the hearing of the 184/3 cases until rules are framed under Article 191 of the Constitution.
On Thursday, After Justice Amin recused from the case, the bench left the courtroom. Four hours later, the court staff told the media that the case has been scheduled on Friday at 11:30am in front of the same bench, which will no longer have Justice Aminuddin.
The PTI, seeking an early date for elections in two provinces, filed a petition to the top court following the ECP’s decision to push the Punjab polls from April 30 to October 8, as financial and security authorities expressed their inability to support the electoral process.
During yesterday’s hearing, Justice Mandokhail debated the merits of the case as the order of the court was yet to be issued by the Supreme Court.
While the Supreme Court has also sought assurances from the government to tone down the political temperature of the country.