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ECP moves SC against constitution of 8 election tribunals by LHC

Our Correspondent
Friday, Jun 14, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday moved the Supreme Court against the constitution of eight election tribunals by the Lahore High Court (LHC).

The ECP through the chief election commissioner filed an appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against May 29 judgment of Justice Shahid Karim on the petitions filed by one Rao Hashim Omar Khan and others.

The Commission sought leave to appeal against the impugned judgment of Lahore High Court, contending that under Article 219© read with Article 222(b) of the Constitution, the power to appoint the election tribunals was vested in the electoral body.

The Commission further contended that Article 219© of the Constitution did not expressly require consultation by the Election Commission of Pakistan with the chief justice of high court concerned for appointing election tribunals or for allocating territorial jurisdiction to such election tribunals.

The electoral body further contended that Section 140(3) of the Elections Act 2017 only required consultation with the chief justice of the high court concerned on the appointment of sitting high court judges as election tribunals, but this consultation did not cover the allocation of territorial jurisdiction to the election tribunals which was the sole power and prerogative of the Election Commission, as was evident from Section 140(1) read with Section 151 of the Elections Act 2017.

On the other hand, the Lahore High Court while allowing the petition of Rao Hashim Omar Khan and other had held that the meaning attributed to the expression “consultation in the Al-Jehad Trust judgment was directly applicable to the interpretation of the same expression as appearing in Section 140(3) of the Elections Act, 2017.

In its appeal, the Commission contended that the high court could not exercise the powers of the election body. The electoral body prayed the apex court to declare the decision of Lahore High Court null and void and fix the instant appeal for hearing.