- Web Desk
- 5 Minutes ago
Supreme Court clears path for February 8 elections
- Web Desk
- Dec 18, 2023
ISLAMABAD: In a move aimed at facilitating the forthcoming February 8 polls, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that objections to the delimitation of constituencies could not be raised once the election schedule was released.
The three-member apex court bench, led by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and including Justices Mansoor Ali Shah and Athar Minallah, issued the order in response to a plea filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The ECP’s petition contested alterations to two constituencies in Zhob and Shirani made by the Balochistan High Court. However, the SC overturned the BHC’s decision and upheld the ECP’s appeal.
During the hearing, Justice Minallah questioned the court’s authority to intervene in matters lawfully under the jurisdiction of the election commission. Justice Shah emphasized that challenges to constituencies become ineffective after the release of the election schedule, stating that the electoral process cannot be disrupted to address individual concerns. “We have to draw a line and set a limit in this regard,” he added.
Justice Masood expressed confusion about the widespread desire to delay elections, asserting, “Let polls take place.”
Justice Minallah cautioned against potential legal challenges, stating that a “flood of petitions” would occur if the SC ruled on the ECP’s plea. He emphasized that everything else halts once the election schedule is issued and underscored the ECP’s responsibility to ensure fair polls on February 8.
The court nullified the BHC decision, a development occurring two days after the ECP, with intervention from the top court, released the much-anticipated election schedule to ensure timely polls.
On Friday, the SC had swiftly addressed an appeal by the ECP against the Lahore High Court’s suspension of the appointment of returning officers and district returning officers from the judiciary.
Concerns had been raised about potential disruptions to the polls, prompting the SC to suspend the LHC verdict and instruct the ECP to promptly release the election schedule during late-night proceedings.