At the outset of Friday’s hearing, the Attorney-General told the court that the copy of the court order had not been received which is why all parties did not appear today.

At this, CJP Bandial remarked that the purpose of today’s hearing was to inform the relevant authorities about the suo motu notice.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government asked Supreme Court’s Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi to “recuse themselves” from the larger bench that is hearing suo motu proceedings regarding the delay in the announcement of a date for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).


The request was presented in a joint statement by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamat-e-Ulema Islami-Fazl (JUI-F), read by lawyer Farooq H Naek, on behalf of the three parties when the nine-member bench resumed the hearing of the suo motu notice today. 

At this point, Naek appeared before the bench and read out a joint statement of the PPP, JUI-F and PML-N regarding their objections over the bench.

The lawyer said that both judges had made their observations on the matter when they heard Ghulam Mahmood Dogar’s plea against his removal as the Lahore police chief.

The counsel also shared the dissenting note of Justice Mandokhail.

Naek stated that they were objecting to the two judges’ inclusion in the “interest of justice, fair play and to protect the fundamental right to a fair trial and due process as guaranteed under Article 10A”.

At this, Justice Minallah asked the lawyer if he felt there was a need to form a full court for the case.

“[The] matter of elections is of public [importance] so there should be [a] full court on this,” responded Naek and formally appealed for a full court to hear the suo motu notice on the delay in elections.

Meanwhile, the counsel for Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed said that the judiciary is being ridiculed on social media since yesterday and urged the court to look into this matter.

At this, CJP Bandial said that this matter will be looked into later. “Prepare for the case,” the CJP told the attorney general.

However, Naek interjected that the matter pertaining to the bench formation and the objections surrounding it should be resolved first.

“The decision was made on February 16 and the notice was taken on February 22,” said the CJP, adding that taking suo motu notice falls under the chief justice’s jurisdiction. He said that the petitions by Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly speakers are clubbed with the suo motu.

The court is also looking into the questions raised in the petitions filed by the speakers, he added.

Justice Mandokhail said that political matters should be resolved in Parliament. “Tell your political parties why should the court hear these cases?” he added.

Referring to a PML-N rally held on Friday, he said that “derogatory remarks” were hurled at the judiciary in that public gathering.

Justice Mandokhail said that political matters must be settled in the Parliament. “Go to your parties … why should the court hear this matter?”

At that, Naek said that he would seek direction from his party on the matter. He also requested the court to first hear the government’s objection on the bench.

Justice Bandial said that in normal circumstances, citizens knocked on the door of the court. “But today, the Constitution of Pakistan has knocked on our doorstep.”

Subsequently, the court observed that it will decide on Monday whether to form a full-court bench to hear the case.

“The court will also hear the objection raised against the two judges on Monday,” CJP Bandial remarked.

“Today the Constitution knocked on our doors which is why we took the suo motu notice,” remarked the CJP as he adjourned the hearing till 11:30am on Monday.