ECP decides to honour Supreme Court verdict of May 14 elections in Punjab

ECP decides to honour Supreme Court verdict of May 14 elections in Punjab


The ECP reviewed the verdict given by the three-member bench of the SC in the meeting

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday issued an updated schedule for elections after it had decided to comply with the Supreme Court's (SC) order to hold elections in Punjab on May 14.

The schedule delineated that nomination papers for the elections would not be accepted anew adding that objections filed on only old nomination papers would be addressed.

The date for appealing against the decision of returning officers was fixed at April 10 and the Election Tribunal would decide on the appeals until April 17. Following this, a new candidate list would be issued and candidates were given April 19 as the last date to withdraw their nomination papers. Finally, the ECP would issue election symbols on April 20. 

Earlier, a consultative meeting held under the chair of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja to deliberate upon the Supreme Court’s (SC)'s decision regarding the elections decided to hold polls as per the direction of the top court.   

Sources said the participants in the meeting also decided to consult the Punjab government for administrative and security matters. 

Earlier, the electoral watchdog reviewed the verdict given by the three-member bench of the Supreme Court at the meeting.

The ECP lawyers briefed and also discussed the legal aspects and prospects of the implementation on the apex court’s decision. The electoral watchdog’s decision about the delay in holding polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was nullified by the court on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: SC salvages its writ by invalidating ECP order, fixes May 14 for Punjab elections

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday declared the order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding delay in elections in Punjab null and void, ordering polls on May 14.

Apex court's three-member bench, headed by Chief Justiece Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, issued the unanimous verdict reserved on Monday after hearing arguments from parties concerned.

It also ruled that the ECP carried out an unconstitutional act by delaying the polls.

SC voids ECP decision on Punjab elections

The Supreme Court on Tuesday voided the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision on Punjab election.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan announced the decision in open court and declared the ECP’s decision to hold polls on October 8 as unconstitutional.

The court directed the ECP to reinstate its previous election schedule under which polls were to be held and extended it by 13 days. The court clarified that the ECP could not go beyond the 90-day stipulated time.

The court order stated that 13 days were wasted because of the ECP’s unlawful decision.

The court also directed the caretaker government in Punjab to assist the ECP and instructed the ECP to inform the court if the government refused to do so. The constitution and laws of the Election Commission did not allow extension of the date, it added.

The order further stated that 13 days were wasted because of the ECP’s unlawful decision.

According to the decision, candidates would be able to submit nomination papers from April 10, the Election Commission would publish the list of candidates on April 19, and electoral symbols would be issued by April 20.

The court also directed the government to release Rs 21 billion for elections in Punjab by April 10 and told the ECP to submit a report on the matter in court the same day. In the case of non-provision of funds, the court will issue an appropriate order, it added.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defence submitted its report to the Supreme Court through Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan detailing the availability of security personnel for election duties.

Meanwhile, heavy security was deployed with a large contingent of police outside the apex court’s building.