SC returns PTI petition seeking polls within 90 days

ISLAMABAD  -  The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday re­turned the constitu­tional petition of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-In­saf (PTI) to hold gener­al elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assem­bly, and seeking direc­tions to the ECP to issue the election schedule accordingly.

The Registrar Office of the Supreme Court raised objections over the petition saying that the petitioner did not approach any relevant forum before coming to the Supreme Court. Moreover, it added that the president cannot be made a party to the pe­tition as per Article 248 of the Constitution.

The office stated that it is not mentioned in the petition that which basic right of the petitioner was affected and the require­ment of Article 184/3 to ap­proach the Supreme Court directly in the petition was not fulfilled. In its petition, the PTI has urged the apex court to direct the Presi­dent to announce the date of elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the Na­tional Assembly, and the ECP to issue the election schedule accordingly. In this regard, Secretary Gen­eral of Pakistan Tehrik-e-In­saf (PTI) Omer Ayub filed the constitutional petition in the apex court. He also prayed that the decision of the CCI, dated 05.08.2023, approving the census, and the notification by the Bu­reau of Statistics dated 08-05-2023 of publish the cen­sus may be declared to be illegal, unlawful, and void ab initio. He submitted that the National Assembly was dissolved on 9th Au­gust, 2023 by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. The elections to the National Assembly, un­der the Constitution, and as per the judgments of the Supreme Court, have to be held on or before 7th No­vember, 2023 and the Pres­ident of Pakistan is to an­nounce the date. He added that the President vide let­ter dated 23.08.2023 has invited the ECP on consul­tation for fixing the date of elections, but the ECP vide letter dated 24.08.2023 refused to meet with the President on the pretext that under Section 57(1) of the Election Act, 2017 (as amended on 26.07.2023) it is the ECP which has the power to fix the date of elections. The petitioner contended that before the dissolution of the Nation­al Assembly on 9th August, 2023, a meeting of a so-called Council of Common Interest (CCI) was held on 5th August 2023, in which the new census of 2023 was approved by it. The pe­titioner submitted that the Governor of Sindh and Ba­lochistan are required to announce the date of elec­tions within 90 days of the dissolution of the Sindh and Balochistan Assemblies, and the ECP be directed to issue the election schedule.

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