SCBA challenges CCI decision in top court, seeks elections in 90 days

Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking to conduct the general election within 90 days.

The SBCA plea aims to expedite the electoral process and ensure the timely election and choosing of new representatives.

The SCBA has also challenged the decision of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) regarding the delimitation of constituencies prior to holding the general election.

The SBCA has taken the plea that the instant petition involves an issue of public importance and is for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

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It said that “through the instant petition the petitioners impugn the Council of Common Interests (CCI)’s decision dated 05.08.2023 (hereafter referred to as the impugned decision) and its subsequent notification dated 07.08.2023 (‘impugned notification’) whereby the digital census of 2023 was unanimously approved by the CCI which included two caretaker chief ministers in violation of the Constitution, and CCI Rules, 2010, specifically rule 5(5).

The SBCA has said that the delayed approval of the digital census 2023 less than a week prior to the dissolution of the national and 2 provincial assemblies has created a constitutional dilemma which is required to be resolved by the court.

“That the holding of elections within a period of 90 days of dissolution of assemblies is a salient feature of the Constitution and any delay in the conduct of general election beyond the mandatory period of 90 days as mandated by Article 224(2) of the Constitution, 1973 will be in blatant violation of Articles 4, 5, 6, 9, 17, 51, 106 and 224 of the Constitution.

It said that any delay in the conduct of elections to the National Assembly, and provincial assemblies would amount to subversion of the constitution and violation of the principles of democracy and rule of law which form the foundation, salient features and basic structure of the Constitution of Pakistan.

It said that “although a copy of the impugned decision dated 05.08.2023 is not available; however, it has been mentioned on the respondent No-2’s website and the impugned notification. It has also been widely reported in various newspapers and on electronic media hence this fact is within the public domain.”

The SCBA has made the federal and provincial governments, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the CCI as respondents in the petition.

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