Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday pointed out that the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polls in Punjab was taken in haste.
During the hearing, the criticism from top court judges, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail was also discussed.
“Two honourable judges gave a decision. It’s the opinion of those two judges but is not related to the current case. Do not bypass a sensitive matter,” remarked the CJP.
However, the two judges also said that the suo motu proceedings initiated by the CJP were “wholly unjustified”, besides being initiated with “undue haste”.
About the polls matter, CJP Bandial remarked that the court does not want to drag this matter. He also said that elections are necessary for a democracy.
The hearing was then postponed till 11:30am tomorrow (Wednesday).
CJ Bandial says he respects colleague’s criticism, resumes hearing over polls
After criticism of the unfettered powers enjoyed by Bandial by his fellow judges Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, the head of the apex court said that the note is his colleagues’ opinion.
Earlier on Tuesday, the five-member larger resumed the hearing on election suo moto, with Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail sitting on the bench.
‘One-man power show’: Chief Justice under fire by his own colleagues
On March 27, the top court judges said that the suo moto taken by the top court over the delay in elections was rejected by four judges so there is no point in the proceedings of the case.
Turning their guns toward CJP Bandial, the two judges said that the SC can’t rely on him for its decision. Using strong words against the CJP, both of them were of the view that institutions should review this “one-man power show”.
“When one person has too much power, there is a risk that the institution may become autocratic and insulated, resulting in one-man policies being pursued, which may have a tendency of going against the rights and interests of the people,” the document read.
They said that CJP has unlimited powers and he can enjoy that tirelessly.
Regarding the election matter, the top court judges directed Lahore High Court (LHC) and Peshawar High Court to settle the problem in both provinces.
It should be noted that the Supreme Court had taken notice itself regarding the date of the election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and initially a 9-member larger bench was formed on it. However, later, a five-member bench heard the case and announced that elections should be held within 90 days.
Earlier, a bench headed by Bandial heard a plea by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against the Election Commission’s decision to delay Punjab elections till October 8.
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