ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Tuesday filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking a date for holding general elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly.

On Monday, PTI also approa­ched the court with a similar plea seeking a direction for President Arif Alvi to announce a date for elections within the three-month constitutional deadline.

Separately, a three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, will resume on Thursday the proceedings of Election Commission of Pakistan’s review, challenging the court’s April 4 verdict fixing May 14 as the date for holding Punjab Assembly elections.

On Tuesday, JI through its counsel Ghulam Mohy-ud-Din Malik filed the petition to hold general elections within 90 days as provided under Article 224(2) of the Constitution.

Court urged to order interim govt to assist ECP in setting a date

The petition contended that ECP should be directed by the court to immediately notify the election schedule as per Section 57(2) of the Elections Act, 2017.

The Supreme Court should also order executive authorities to assist and cooperate with the ECP in the discharge of its functions to hold free and fair elections within the stipulated period under Article 218(3) of the Constitution.

Moreover, the caretaker government should also be ordered to assist the ECP in holding timely elections.

The PTI’s petition, two days ago, was filed by the party’s secretary general, Omar Ayub Khan.

It had requested the apex court to order ECP to issue an election schedule and also direct the governors of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to announce the date of elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the respective assemblies, in accordance with the Supreme Court judgement in the Punjab assembly election case.

Moved through Advocate Syed Ali Zafar, the petitioner pleaded that the Aug 5 decision of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) — in which the digital census was approved, thus making new delimitation mandatory — should be declared illegal, unlawful, and void.

Besides, the notification by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on August 8 in which the 2023 census was published should also be declared to be illegal and unlawful.

The petition contended that under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, timely elections were an issue of public importance and for the enforcement of fundamental rights conferred by Chapter 1 of Part II of the Constitution.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2023

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