On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued the reserved decision on the suo moto action regarding the delay in the general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa today. The judgment was given by a 3-2 ratio. Justice Manzoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandukhial voted against the decision. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered that general elections should be held in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90 days.
Hearing in Supreme Court
A large number of lawyers and political leaders were present in the courtroom during the hearing in Supreme Court. Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf leader Shireen Mazari, Awami Muslim League founder Sheikh Rasheed, and PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry attended the hearing.
On February 28, the five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Atta Bandial, reserved its decision. The bench hearing the suo motu case included Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandukhel and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.
Judgement by Supreme Court
The judgment by Supreme Court said that according to the constitution, general elections must be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the assembly. Under Article 222 of the constitution, holding the elections is a federal matter. It added that after the governor dissolves the assembly, he can announce the date of the election. If the governor does not dissolve the assembly, the president will dissolve the assembly under section 57.
The verdict also said that Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa deviated from his constitutional responsibility by not announcing the election date. The Election Commission should immediately suggest the date of elections to the president.
Supreme Court stated that elections should be held within the constitutional period, and if elections are not possible on April 9, then the date can be changed after consultation. The court has directed federal and provincial institutions to support the Election Commission for the elections.