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ECP petitions for a review of the SC's decision regarding the Punjab elections

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ISLAMABAD (HP News) – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s order of holding snap elections in Punjab, saying appointing the date for the election is not the mandate of superior courts under the Constitution.

Elections in Punjab were ordered to take place on May 14 by a three-judge panel on April 4 that was led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and included Justices Munib Akhtar and Ijazul Ahsan. The highest court determined that by delaying the elections, the electoral body committed an unconstitutional act.

“With the utmost respect, the Constitution does not give superior courts the authority to choose the election date. Such authority is granted in other places by the Constitution, but it does not reside in a court of law. That has wisdom built right in. The Constitution’s framers did not give the Courts the authority to act in the capacity of public bodies because they are not experts in evaluating the realities on the ground in order to draw the necessary conclusions.

The Court’s intervention is required to correct this error, which effectively changed the established constitutional jurisprudence of the nation, the ECP argued in its petition. “Therefore, it is respectfully submitted, that in passing the Impugned Order under review, the Court disregarded its constitutional jurisdiction and assumed upon itself the role of a public body in giving a date.

As it established institutions, outlined their authority, and struck a delicate balance between each organ of the state, it was claimed that the Pakistani Constitution was the “mother of all laws” in the nation.

“This division of power between different organs, popularly known as trichotomy of powers, is the hallmark of the Constitution and essential sine qua non for smooth and efficient functioning of the country. This well embedded constitutional concept isolates the three organs from interfering and treading into the domain of the other,” it stressed.
The commission is of the view that the change of election programme was the solitary domain of the ECP under section 58 of the Elections Act, 2017.

“The order under review appoints a date of 14.05.2023 for holding the general elections in Punjab by holding that the Commission had no power to pass order dated 22.03.2023,” it stated, adding that under no provision of the Constitution or law, the apex court could have taken such an exercise upon itself to determine the election date.

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