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IHC CJ bars new election tribunal from functioning

By News Desk

June 11, 2024 12:31 PM


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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday barred the new election tribunal formed on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) order from functioning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Justice Aamer Farooq also summoned the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) on the next hearing for assistance.

Later, the court adjourned the case’s hearing until June 24.

Earlier, showing his annoyance over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to change the election tribunal hearing the appeals filed by rival candidates of PML-N MNAs from Islamabad, Chief Justice (CJ) of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq questioned the grounds on which the ECP had based its decision.

During the hearing of petitions filed against the Election Act Amendment Ordinance, counsel for the election commission told the CJ that the tribunal had failed to follow the required procedure.

“Do you want to introduce a new jurisprudence?” Justice Farooq asked, adding, “Even if we admit that there are flaws in the tribunal’s order, still there is no justification for setting up a new one.”

By doing so, the chief justice went on to say, the ECP was setting up a new precedent.   

He remarked that prima facie the commission’s decision was flawed. “Either prove there was an element of bias or get ready to face contempt of court proceedings,” the CJ said, and added, “Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri is an IHC judge. If there was any complaint about ‘bias’, it could have been conveyed to the judge. The ECP could have challenged the order rather than transferring the cases to another tribunal.”

Advocate Shoaib Shaheen said there were reports on the media that Shakoor Paracha, a retired judge, had been made the head of a new tribunal.

The chief justice said the election commission had made Justice Jahangiri the tribunal head on his recommendation.  

He said he also wanted to know under which law the ECP had sought a record of the petitions. “These are the questions which the commission has to answer.”

“The ECP is a constitutional body. That’s why the court had issued a notice to it,” the CJ said, and added he would resume hearing of the case at 2:00 in the afternoon. “The election commission better prepares its answers by that time,” he said, and added he did not think that the commission’s decision could be upheld.  

Accepting the pleas filed by the PML-N MNAs, the ECP had on Monday ordered the transfer of all three cases to another election tribunal.

According to 24NewsHD TV channel, the ECP announced the decision that was reserved last Friday.

Three PML-N MNAs from Islamabad — Anjum Aqeel, Tariq Chaudhry, and Khurram Nawaz — had expressed their reservations over the election tribunal hearing rival PTI candidates' petitions in which they had challenged the election results in their constituencies of NA-46, NA-47 and NA-48.

 

Reporter: Ihtesham Kiani


News Desk


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