For how long democracy will continue to be sacrificed by taking forward polls: CJP


ISLAMABAD, May (Online): Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has remarked for how long democracy will continue to be sacrificed by advancing the elections.

He observed it has been said to this extent that democracy is spirit of the constitution. For how long they will continue to sacrifice democracy by taking forward the elections. We suffered consequences for years whenever the democracy was sacrificed. Now the people should be given opportunity to demonstrate their opinion.
He remarked lack of resources was mentioned in Election Commission (EC) decision. When EC will say enough is enough. The elections will be held at every cost. In review petition EC started talking politically.

He observed there remained 60 percent turn out in Local Bodies polls in Balochistan. People of Balochistan cast votes despite security concerns. The negative forces exert their pressure when if elections are delayed. The court will stay silent for how long as custodian of the constitution. For how long can you keep article 224 of the constitution in cold storage.
He remarked the EC did not apprise the president and governor of the facts. Counsel for EC kept on giving arguments for two days on rehearing the case. He was told that simultaneous election will render ineffective what clauses of the constitution. How can the leader of the house be prevented from dissolving the assembly. If the system is strong then perhaps all election are possible on separate days. At present we are travelling in the darkness and no destination is visible.

He observed the court had ordered with the consensus of chief minister Punjab and opposition leader. The interference of provincial government in National Assembly polls can be prevented. Interference can not be made if EC is transparent and strong. EC it self has not devised any solution and now court will have to evolve this principle. This issue can be resolved administratively. EC should not accept the pretexts of the ministry of finance. EC should seek solid explanation from government. Supplementary grants of Rs 20 billion were approved for members of assembly. EC needed only Rs 21 billion. Providing funds to members of assembly is good thing. EC itself is dysfunctional. There is need to enhance the capability of EC. It demanded 450000 security guards. On the other hand total operational army stands at 450000. EC should think while making demand. We will have to see why military security is needed.

He observed the polling can be postponed on polling stations which are sensitive or most difficult. Army had extended offer of QRF to EC. To my view QRF strength is enough.

it has been this idea that EC accepts silently what government says. On what basis they are saying the situation will improve till October 08. This stance was on March 22 and now EC thinks what. When the election will take place. Extraordinary incidents took place on May 09. We will have to see the May 9 incident is creating what problems for election. EC could not make it clear how much delay it can afford in elections. Ground realities and transparency is linked to EC capacity. Presiding officers had gone missing in Daska. Elections were to take place on April 14 and now period of over one month and 10 days has passed.

Addressing to counsel for EC, the CJP remarked come here after doing homework so that we could know what is difficulty for EC. Counsel should tell us to the point what is his real point. He should fire after fixing target at least.

A 3-member bench of SC presided over by CJP Umar Ata Bandial took up the case for hearing Thursday.
The counsel for EC said SC rules can not curtail constitutional powers.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan raised the question how can SC rules curtail court’s constitutional powers.

Counsel for EC told on being inquired from judges if central government is not dissolved then the care taker government will continue to work in the respective province for four and half years.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked 90 days time has been given in the constitution. Care taker governments come to hold election in 90 days. Where is written in the constitution that the tenure of the care taker governments can be enhanced.

Justice Munib Akhtar remarked holding transparent election is responsibility of EC no matter whichever government is there. Can EC say election will not be held in the presence of elected government.

Counsel for the EC said EC had given the date of October 8 according to facts.

The CJP remarked the court has to talk about principles of the constitution rather than apprehensions.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked caretaker government comes only for this reason that no government support is provided to any party.

He inquired can caretaker government stay as long as it wills.

The counsel for EC told the tenure of caretaker government will be determined according to situation.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till May 29.