Public interest lies in holding election in 90 days: Justice Munib Akhtar


ISLAMABAD, MAY 23 (ONLINE): The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has remarked Election Commission (EC) has to tell first how can we take new ground in review petition.

The CJP further remarked counsel should not be changed in review petition. The constitution has not given right to appeal in article 184 (3). Enhancing the jurisdiction should be made clear in the constitution. EC and government are taking now this proceedings seriously. In the past the government has been raising objection on bench. Some time full court point was raised and some 4-3 point was raised. Why these have not been mentioned earlier what things EC has now given in writing. Has some other institution forced EC to adopt this stance.
The CJP expressed these remarks while presiding over 3-member bench during the hearing of review petition filed by EC Tuesday.

At the inception of hearing counsel for EC told the court copy of reply of not any respondent including PTI has been provided to him. Give time to review all replies.

The CJP remarked should we help you that what has been said in the replies. You should give arguments on your petition. You can raise new point if you want to raise on next hearing.

The counsel for EC took the plea the jurisdiction of review petition is not limited in constitutional cases. The jurisdiction of SC can be increased but cannot be curtailed. The jurisdiction of SC is limited in civil and criminal cases in review case.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked resorting to court in connection with basic rights is case of civil nature. One part of article 184 (3) relates to public interest and second is of basic rights.
The counsel for EC took the plea proceedings under article 184 (3) is not of civil nature.

Justice Munib Akhtar remarked had the case of election come through high court then would not it have been a civil case. The rights of millions of people are connected with the polls. The public interest lies in holding election in 90 days. If appeal comes through high court then according to you the court’s jurisdiction is limited. Your stance in review is this that the jurisdiction is not limited. Is it not discriminatory treatment with the case of basic rights. Why should SC create ambiguity about its jurisdiction.

Upon it ECP counsel took the plea high court constitutional power is more than SC. Right to appeal has not been given in article 184. The jurisdiction of review cannot be limited due to lack of right to appeal. The court has to keep in view norms of justice in review.

Justice Munib Akhtar inquired if your plea is this review should be heard like appeal in 184 (3).

The counsel for EC said yes I am saying this. Review in 184 (3) is in fact appeal. The jurisdiction of review should not be limited in the case of 184 (3).

The CJP while addressing the counsel for EC remarked you have raised very good points in the arguments. But the judicial references on these points are not satisfactory.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked if plea of EC is accepted then hearing will have to be started afresh in review. It is not mentioned in the constitution that the jurisdiction of review and appeal will be same.

The EC took the plea the jurisdiction has not been limited in the constitution. The court should exercise power of article 187 for complete justice in article 187. It will become more easy on arrival of court decision.

Justice Munib Akhtar remarked new stance cannot be taken in appeal too.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till May 24.