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Federal cabinet rejects top court’s verdict in election delay case

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  • Federal cabinet sources say “verdict unenforceable”.
  • Govt to raise voice in parliament regarding SC decision: sources.
  • Maryam terms three-member bench as “Khan’s facilitators”.

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet Tuesday rejected the Supreme Court’s “unanimous verdict” on the case pertaining to the postponement of election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), sources told Geo News.

The development came during the cabinet’s meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, held after a three-member bench — headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar as members — announced the apex court’s verdict on the matter which it had reserved a day earlier.

Announcing the verdict on a plea filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the country’s top court declared the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polls in Punjab and KP from April 30 to October 8 as ‘null and void’.

The Supreme Court, in its verdict, states that the ECP’s order dated March 22, 2023, is declared to be unconstitutional, without lawful authority or jurisdiction, void ab-initio, of no legal effect, and is hereby quashed.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a minority verdict, which is why the cabinet rejects it,” the sources in the federal cabinet said.

The top court’s decision, as per the sources, is not enforceable.

The government would raise its voice in parliament regarding the verdict, the sources added. It was also decided in the meeting that the coalition parties in power will talk about the apex court’s decision in parliament, they added.

In the meeting, the cabinet decided to present its position on the verdict.

‘Last blow of conspiracy’

Commenting on the SC decision, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice-President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz took to her Twitter and wrote that today’s verdict is the last blow of the conspiracy which began by “rewriting the Constitution and presenting the Punjab government on a plate” to the bench’s blue-eyed boy, Khan.

Maryam termed the three-member bench as “Khan’s facilitators” and said that this was done so he could be reselected under their presence and supervision.

“This bench has taken responsibility for the work done by [Lt Gen] Faiz [Hamid], [ex-CJP Asif Saeed] Khosa and Saqib Nisar in 2018. A majority of the Supreme Court revolted against this appalling and brazen facilitation and one-man show,” the PML-N scion tweeted, stressing that it is now time for the parliament to stop this facilitation using its “constitutional and legal hands”.

She further stated that it is not enough for the federal cabinet to reject the verdict. The PML-N politician wrote that those who tried to impose the “favourite” by defying the Constitution and law should be brought to the rostrum.

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PTI is given further time by the ECP to provide documents in the intra-party election case.

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Following an intra-party elections case, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was given an extension by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday to submit its paperwork.

Hearings were held on the PTI intra-party election case before a three-member bench chaired by Sindh ECP member Nisar Durrani.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ECP member questioned who oversaw the PTI elections as it wasn’t an organization.

Regarding the PTI’s recent election, the ECP voiced no objections. Barrister Gohar, the Chief of PTI, replied, “We plan to address a few legal and technical queries given enough time.”

During the raid on the PTI Central Secretariat, he claimed that the police had seized everything, including crucial party records, and that they had not even left a “water dispenser.”

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The PTI has filed a petition with the Lahore High Court to seek permission for holding a protest at Minar-e-Pakistan on August 14.

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In its appeal, PTI said that there will be no unlawful activity during the gathering, which they intended to hold on August 14 at Minar-e-Pakistan.

Permission from the court to hold the rally at Minar-e-Pakistan was requested.

PTI also asked for an injunction to stop harassing the petitioner and their family.

Notifying the Deputy Commissioner and other relevant parties, the court requested their comments. There was a one-week delay in the heating.

Note that the administration was also ordered by the Islamabad High Court to hold talks with the PTI in order to arrange a public gathering.

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The chairman of PTI, Barrister Gohar, and Raoof Hasan have been arrested.

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Senator Shibli Faraz of the PTI alleged on Monday that the Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ICT) surrounded the PTI secretariat in Islamabad and apprehended PTI chairman Barrister Gohar and party spokesperson Rauf Hasan.

A substantial group of law enforcement officers arrived outside the PTI secretariat, accompanied by female police personnel.

Shibli Faraz alleged that the chairman of PTI and Rauf Hasan were apprehended by the ICT Police.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central Secretariat was sealed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on May 24. The operation, carried out in cooperation with the district administration, featured anti-encroachment teams armed with heavy machinery that were deployed at the location situated in Sector G-84.

As to a representative from the CDA, the specific plot was assigned to an individual named Sartaj Ali. Nevertheless, instances of non-compliance with building regulations, such as the erection of an extra level, were observed. Additionally, it was stated that the political party had unlawfully occupied the neighboring acreage.

The Islamabad High Court issued a directive on June 4, instructing authorities to promptly remove the seal from Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s headquarters office in the federal capital, Islamabad.

Justice Thaman Rifat Imtiaz of the Islamabad High Court has delivered a ruling that was previously kept undisclosed. The court granted PTI’s case against the Capital Development Authority CDA.

On June 3, the Islamabad High Court deferred its verdict regarding the appeal against sealing the central secretariat of PTI and the CDA operation.

On May 27, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed the objection raised by the registrar’s office about the case filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The petition was against the closure of the party’s central secretariat and the actions of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The instruction was given.

The PTI leader filed a petition seeking the annulment of the CDA’s order to seal the Central Secretariat.

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