The Supreme Court Thursday asked the government to appoint members of the Election Commission of Pakistan before July 28 to make it functional.
Resuming the hearing of a suo motu notice in the matter, a two-member bench of Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that if the government had initiated process to appoint members well in time, the ECP would not have become dysfunctional since June 12.
Appearing on court’s notice, Additional Attorney General for Pakistan Waqar Rana submitted that after the 22nd Constitutional Amendment, the process to appoint members of the ECP is required to be completed in 45 days.
Rana apprised the court that members of the ECP had completed their terms on June 12 saying process to fill the vacant slots would be completed within the given constitutional period by July 27.
He further said that consultative process about appointing members of the ECP is going on, however, he informed that due to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif illness the process was delayed as he was abroad for medical treatment.
Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali observed that the court has nothing to do with the problems in consultative process over the issue or Prime Minister absence from the country but the court has to ensure that the constitutional provisions are implemented in letter and spirit by making ECP, a constitutional institution functional, by July 28.
Appearing on notice in response to pleas about notification of victory of a candidate and by-election in NA 63 Jehlum Additional Attorney General for Pakistan Aamir Rehman Chaudhry submitted that Chief Election Commissioner is authorised to issue schedule of by-election under provisions of The Representative of the People Act even if the ECP is incomplete.
Chaudhry further submitted that notification of the victory of Muhammad Ashraf Warraich would be issued once the ECP members are appointed.
To which the Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that after the 22nd Constitutional Amendment, the ECP structure was changed so it would be better for its completion.
Later, the Court issued notices to parties of the case in both the cases whereas the bench also adjourned the hearing of the matter about mayoral elections in Sindh till second week of the August. -Business Recorder