ISLAMABAD:The Supreme Court on Tuesday voided the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision on Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 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.