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.