SC to resume elections date hearing today

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea asking the top court to revisit its April 4 order of holding elections to the Punjab Assembly on May 14 till Thursday (May 25).
A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar heard the case. During the course of proceedings, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan said the bench during the previous hearing had questioned why points raised by the ECP in its review petition were not raised earlier.
He said the government had also mentioned the majority judgment in its response.
The CJP said the court was here to hear all parties. If a reasonable point was raised, the court would review it and take a decision.
He said the court had discussed the jurisdiction of review petition during yesterday’s hearing. The bench would not use the past against the government as the judiciary was there after rendering several sacrifices, he added.
The CJP said the reports attributed to the court regarding the provision of Mercedes car on May 11 to the PTI chairman were not always correct. He even himself did not use a Mercedes car. It was the police which had arranged the Mercedes car for Imran Khan, he added.
Advocate Sajeel Swati, counsel for the ECP, said the apex court had always interpreted the Constitution as a living document.
He said the scope of Supreme Court could not be limited as it was the ultimate institution of justice. No other court had the authority to dispense complete justice and use Article 190, he added.
Justice Munib Akhtar said if the ECP’s argument regarding the jurisdiction of a review and appeal was accepted, it would nullify the Supreme Court’s rules.
He said no amendments had been made to the jurisdiction of review in the SC rules yet. If the jurisdiction was expanded, it would reopen cases dating back to several years, he added.
Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said the scope of the review was clearly mentioned in the Supreme Court’s rules.
The CJP said the use of Article 184(3) had increased a lot.
He asked the counsel to present his arguments on the actual case.
He asked why ECP didn’t advise the president to hold one-day polls and pointed out that President Arif Alvi was kept unaware of security and funds for polls. The president was not told about the 1970 elections nor Article 218(3), he added. –Agencies