ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has constituted a three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, to hear Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s petition seeking immediate reconstitution of the election commission.
The SC had earlier admitted the petition for hearing on Feb 11, weeks before dissolution of assemblies in the run-up to the general elections.
In addition to the chief justice, the three-judge bench which will now hear the petition on Monday also includes Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.
The petition calls for fresh appointments of the chief election commissioner and the four members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Qadri pleads their appointments were “not in accordance with the provisions of Articles 213 and 218 of the Constitution, hence all these appointments are void ab initio.”
Dr Qadri, who intends to plead the case himself, has also pleaded to the court to restrain the ECP from working pending a decision on the case.
Earlier Friday, renowned lawyer and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had expressed his fear that general elections may be postponed if the apex court admits Qadri’s petition for hearing.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that an elected government is set to complete its full five-year term, with general elections expected in mid-May.