No delay in electoral schedule acceptable: Supreme Court

elections Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued a stern warning against any interference in the electoral process, emphasising a zero-tolerance policy for disruptions.

This follows the suspension by the Supreme Court of the Balochistan High Court’s (BHC) decision regarding new constituencies.

The court clarified that its order would not impact the appeals of petitioners and affirmed its commitment to hearing appeals related to constituencies after the general election. The Supreme Court expressed unequivocal determination not to accept any delay in the electoral schedule.

During the proceedings, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Umar Hameed made an appearance before the Supreme Court, submitting a withdrawn notification. Justice Athar Minallah underscored that the responsibility of reviewing electoral maps lies with the ECP, not the High Court.

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Justice Athar Minallah also highlighted the universality of constituency challenges, stating, “It is not a problem of your constituencies alone; there will be a problem in every constituency.” He cautioned against selective interventions, asserting that changes in one constituency would necessitate adjustments across the board.

Expressing concerns over potential delays, Acting Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood noted, “By delaying the election, things could get completely derailed”.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah emphasised the necessity of their intervention, stating, “We would not have stepped into this issue if it weren’t for the impending elections.”

Justice Shah clarified that the court is establishing a fair procedure that safeguards everyone’s rights. He assured that the court would revisit the matter after the general elections. The apex court also issued a ban on petitions related to constituencies in Balochistan.

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