Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim. — File photo
Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim was displeased by the Supreme Court’s decision to change the presidential poll schedule and went to the extent of making an abortive attempt to set aside the verdict on the day he scrutinised the candidates’ nomination papers.

According to an official of the commission, the CEC had written a note declaring the court’s decision an attack on the independence of the ECP. He wanted his fellow members to endorse the note and decide that the election would be held in accordance with the original schedule announced by the commission.

But the move was not supported by three (of the four) available members who were of the view that the ECP should have taken that stand during the hearing of PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq’s petition seeking change in the election schedule.

An official said the time for scrutiny of the nomination papers was extended twice by the CEC in the hope that he would be able to persuade the members to support his point of view.

Under the Second Schedule of the constitution, the ECP is to conduct election to the office of president with the CEC as the returning officer. It is for the CEC to fix the time and place for depositing nomination papers, holding scrutiny, making withdrawals and holding the poll, by public notification.

The official said that under Article 41(4) of the constitution, the election was to be held not earlier than 60 days and not later than 30 days before the expiry of the term of the president in office.

He said the CEC firmly held that the schedule announced by the commission was in conformity with the relevant constitutional provisions and did not like the change in it made by the Supreme Court at the eleventh hour.

“This was seen by the CEC as an encroachment into the domain of the ECP by the apex court mandated under the constitution to interpret the constitution.”

He said the decision had come two days after the ECP had rejected a similar government plea for amending the schedule.

He pointed out that the ECP had clarified its position after the SC verdict, saying that any aggrieved party should approach the court because it was not a decision of the ECP.

The official said the CEC was disappointed by the ‘weakness’ demonstrated by the members of the commission and believed that it was tantamount to surrendering the powers given to the commission by the constitution. The official claimed that Justice Ebrahim was considering to resign in protest because he found it difficult to work with such members.

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Comments (34) (Closed)


Pakistan
Jul 31, 2013 06:58am

Its too late honorable CEC. You had to take stand with fellow ECs.

Usman
Jul 31, 2013 07:16am

He's a man of principle and should take a stand on this issue. He should have resigned before the presidential elections, but we need people like him in the election commission. ECP needs to be completely revamped before the next elections otherwise the status quo can never be defeated.

S.A.K.rahmani
Jul 31, 2013 07:27am

if the report by Mr.Iftikhar A.Khan is correct,the nation should extol the efforts of the CHief Election Commissioner to thwart another body set up under the Constitution to unconstitutionally intervene in the supreme powers of the CEC so far as election of the President are concerned.The honourable Chief Election Commissioner can still retrieve his honour by resigning from his position;and setting the record straight.This act of the Chief Election Commissioner will go a long way in upholding the Constitution.

Yawar
Jul 31, 2013 07:35am

Taking an honest person and making him the chairman of a Commission comprising of biased individuals is a ploy that needs to be exposed.

Rameez
Jul 31, 2013 08:01am

Fakhru bhai nay na pehle kuch kiya na aaj kar paye. Mehrbani karein aur retirement ko phir se galey lagayein.

TI
Jul 31, 2013 08:25am

Wow! If that's true, I am surprised by the SC action. It's supposed to adhere to higher standards. It seems to be something missing here. It doesn't make sense for encroaching on the independence of EC.

Abrar Ch
Jul 31, 2013 09:22am

TUQ was Right.

Syed
Jul 31, 2013 09:57am

Remember what Allama Tahirul Qadri said about the members of Election Commission. They are political appointee, they have to please their masters. Fakhru bhai should not have accepted the offer of Chief Election Commission with no power. Better he resigns.

Saud
Jul 31, 2013 10:27am

During the supreme court hearing, the ECP counsel clearly stated that they were ready to hold elections on any date decided by the court. Fakhru bhai is now trying to prove his independence after facing criticism.

muzammil ullah khan
Jul 31, 2013 10:46am

Poor Fakhru bhai ! They got the old man pinned down and I do feel sorry for him . He MUST resign to save his honor .

Mian s Amjad
Jul 31, 2013 11:00am

I support CJ most of the time but this time he has crossed the line. He has become something like a "supreme Leader" who is not elected but cancels elected body's decisions as well as constitutional authorities like ECP. Mr. Ibrahim should resign and shame on other three members of ECP.

AFK
Jul 31, 2013 12:05pm

This belated explanation is not acceptable, since too much water has already flown the bridge!!

Muzaffar Qureshi
Jul 31, 2013 12:11pm

Why did the CEC not resign?

Muzaffar Qureshi
Jul 31, 2013 12:31pm

So, why did the CEC not resign?

Immad
Jul 31, 2013 12:35pm

Dear Chief Election Commissioner this was too little too late. You have lost credibility for number of instances where you could have created a mark but you decided not to.

Ahsan Ali Suhag
Jul 31, 2013 12:42pm

i think ECP was accomplice with supreme court in declaring the date of presidential election and creating a mess...why ECP hinted PML-N to go to the supreme court...? if this was not the case then Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim have taken a clear stand to protect the independence of ECP guaranteed by constitution not by Chuadhry driven courts....if this was not possible regarding the opposition by pro-N league and pro judiciary members of ECP....then Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim without considering the consequences should have resigned as a man of principle and to protect sanctity of ECP entrusted to him. but he deliberately didn't resign and proved himself incompetent and inefficient and will be remembered so in history-- who abdicated from his responsibility, lacked moral courage and surrendered the independence ECP.

Hussain Naqvi
Jul 31, 2013 12:50pm

By now Fakhroo Bhai should have gone back to home after the one sided decision of S.C favouring the favourite of CJ and differance of opinion amongst his teammembers who probably scared from the federal government. Still there is time to express his discomfort by quoting the job.

Khalid
Jul 31, 2013 12:52pm

CEC resigning? Not likely. Obviously he prefers the ignominy of having to take credit for this fiasco too. He's probably consoling himself with the thought that he at least succeeded in making the candidate-elect as equally controversial as he himself now is. Keep it up, Fakhroo Sahib. The politicos still need a whipping-boy, as much as you like being the CEC regardless of these sorry consequences. And we'll probably pretend this was yet another comical interlude vis-a-vis The Elections!

Uza Syed
Jul 31, 2013 12:52pm

Sir, you should have resigned and informed the people of Pakistan that you could not function due to interference of Supreme Court and that you saw it encroaching upon your commission's jurisdiction and could not continue and tolerate the violation of the Constitution of Pakistan by its appex court----why didn't you, sir!

Gerry D'Cunha
Jul 31, 2013 01:03pm

what a lame excuse by the Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim to safe his skin - an honest incompetent CEC who has done more damage than good to the country

Aftab Kenneth Wilson
Jul 31, 2013 01:03pm

Why is CEC so late to reveal all this is also questionable? In fact a weak person is weak for all. His arms can be twisted by any other strong arms.

Ahsan Ali Suhag
Jul 31, 2013 01:14pm

i think ECP was accomplice with supreme court in declaring the date of presidential election and creating a mess...why ECP hinted PML-N to go to the supreme court...? if this was not the case then Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim have taken a clear stand to protect the independence of ECP guaranteed by constitution not by Chuadhry driven courts....if this was not possible regarding the opposition by pro-N league and pro judiciary members of ECP....then Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim without considering the consequences should have resigned as a man of principle and to protect sanctity of ECP entrusted to him. but he deliberately didn't resign and proved himself incompetent and inefficient and will be remembered so in history-- who abdicated from his responsibility, lacked moral courage and surrendered the independence ECP.

Abdullah K
Jul 31, 2013 02:06pm

Fakhurudin G. Ibrahim - Why make lame excuses, just resign & walk away.

Wizarat
Jul 31, 2013 02:18pm

He should have resigned or at least threatened to resign and asked the Supreme court to reconsider the ruling in line of Article 41-4 and independence of the ECP duly constituted according to the Constitution of Pakistan. I do not know of Judiciary taking these kinds of Sue Moto cases anywhere else in the world. Don't they have anything else to do? Look at the law and order situation in Pakistan, mostly it is because of the incompetence of the legal fraternity of Pakistan, whether they are judges, lawyers, or prosecutor, all three are just collecting paychecks and are not interested in providing safety and security to the citizens of Pakistan.

Sultan Khan
Jul 31, 2013 02:18pm

"considering to resign" . He ought to have resigned. Now its too late. The train is past the station and the stigma of not protecting the constitution from the 'adventurers' who are constitution unto themselves shall ever haunt him

Guest63
Jul 31, 2013 03:10pm

There is point in crying on the split milk now , if he was such upright as it is made to appear now via this blog ( cleaning of the dirty linens of the ECP to wipe the slat for the CEC ! ) , he must have resigned the moment Court ordered to change the ECP schedule . Even if he resigns now , there is hardly any credibility left in his stance now , Govt Got what they wanted , thanks to spinelessness of the ECP to stand up and deliver its constitutional role . Tough luck Fakhroo bahi , you have lost at least my admiration for your previous work and stances in your illustrious career . Better resign Now and pack up your bags and live a fully retired life

Tahir Mahmood
Jul 31, 2013 07:19pm

Chief Justice is no longer revered as a justice at all. He must resign immediately.

Imran Ahmed
Jul 31, 2013 07:36pm

Justice Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim is an exceptional man in this country because of his integrity and ability to forego self interest.

Ahsan Ali Suhag
Aug 01, 2013 12:11am

i think ECP conducted as party with the supreme court in declaring the date of presidential election and creating a mess...why ECP hinted PML-N to go to the supreme court...? if this was not the case then honorable CEC should have taken a clear stand immediately to protect the independence of ECP guaranteed by constitution not by supreme court....if this was not possible regarding the opposition by members of ECP....then honorable CEC without considering the consequences should have resigned as a man of principle and have protect the sanctity of ECP entrusted to him. but he didn't resign and let himself to be criticized as incompetent and inefficient-- who abdicated from his responsibility, lacked moral courage and surrendered the independence ECP.

J Bashir
Aug 01, 2013 02:34am

The Chief Election Commissioner did the honourable thing. Supreme court has not covered itself with glory. One can only hope that the apex court has learnt lessons from this sorry saga

Fateh Mohammed
Aug 01, 2013 07:36am

CEC ' S note to the E . Commission members regarding ruling of supreme court being unconstitutional to hold election of the President on 30 July 13 , will certainly come handy to Imran Khan being written by a former Supreme Court judge to defend himself against contempt proceedings . Contempt of court usage is becoming new form of censorship in the country .

Imran Khan is not the only one who objected and raised the issue why not the others who were equally eminent and vociferous in condemning the ruling . I am reminded of the Lord Acton's saying but I will not quote it here . This day had to come , wielding great power demands great mind .

Farhan
Aug 01, 2013 08:34am

The CEC was a partisan entity - if the Fakruddin has resigned, I say good riddance. They caused the nation great harm in these elections.

HM
Aug 01, 2013 08:35am

CEC was instrumental as Articles 62, 63 and 218 were being violated with abandon, the Chief Election Commissioner chose to stay mum on the illegal acts. The role of Fakhar-ud-Din G. Ibrahim would be remembered as that of a person who protected corruption and rigging in the country. Chief Justice will on the other hand be remembered as the one who favored PML N in and out.

Bin dam
Aug 01, 2013 09:16am

PML (N) with its clean majority would have gotten their candidate elected for President even on the previous election date, by a show of strong leadership. The Chief Justice, Fakhroo Bhai and PML (N) leadership enjoying the love and support of overwhelming majority including my entire family and friends are the biggest looser in this game. By changing the Presidential election date like a dictator and without giving even the minimum needed time to rest of the participants they have not only lost the love and support of their majority of well-wishers but have earned their disapproval.