SC moved to stop govt from rules change


By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was moved on Wednesday against the government’s possible move to bring in a presidential ordinance to amend rules of the parliamentary panel tasked with deciding nominees for the posts of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).A petition moved in the apex court states that the government wants to appoint CEC and two members from Sindh and Balochistan of its choices by way of amending rules of the panel, which now required a two-thirds majority for the purpose. It submitted that the government is trying to replace the word “two-thirds majority” with the “simple majority”, which it said would be a violation of Article 213 and 218 of the country’s Constitution. The federal government, the ECP secretary, and the Ministry of Law have been made as respondents in the petition. Earlier, on Dec 31, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice AtharMinallah had given time to the federal government to build consensus with the opposition over the appointments of the two members in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The high court resumed the hearing of the case related to the appointments of ECP members on two seats as the secretary of the National Assembly (NA) sought 10 days for submitting its reply in the previous hearing. During the hearing, Justice Minallah remarked every committee has powers to legislate own rulers. The lawyer representing the Speaker NA argued that the government has made mistake in the parliament.