Governor to seek clarity from LHC on role in Punjab polls

Following the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) direction to hold elections in Punjab within 90 days, Punjab Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman has decided to seek clarification on the court order related to polls in the province

The Punjab governor chaired a consultative meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) representatives here at Governor House on Tuesday

The meeting concluded with the remarks that some matters, including some aspects of the consultative role of the governor in the Lahore High Court's decision, require clarification and interpretation for which the court would be approached after consultation with legal and constitutional experts

The meeting was attended by the ECP Secretary Umar Hamid Khan, Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, Principal Secretary to Governor Barrister Nabil Awan, Special Secretary to Governor Umar Saeed, ECP Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal, ECP Director General (Law) Muhammad Arshad Khan, ECP Additional Director General Syed Nadeem Haider, ECP Deputy Director Coordinator Muhammad Nasir Khan, ECP Director Abdul Hameed, Deputy Director Huda Ali Gohar and Inspector General of Police Punjab Dr Usman

Also read: ‘Headway’ in election schedule for Punjab Meanwhile, a petition was filed in the LHC seeking an order for President Arif Alvi to announce a date for elections in Punjab

The petitioner made the federal government, the president, the Punjab governor, and interim governments respondents in the case and argued that the court in its February 10 order had remarked that elections should be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assembly

Despite clear orders, the petitioner claimed, the commission was reluctant in announcing the schedule for polls in Punjab and pleaded the court to issue an order under Article 48, 58 and 224 of the Constitution and Section 57 of the Election Act for the president to announce a date for elections as the ECP was running away from its duties

The petitioner also sought disciplinary action against the Punjab government and the ECP for defying the court order

Earlier on February 10, the LHC had ordered ECP to hold elections in the province in 90 days of the dissolution of the provincial assembly

Justice Jawad Hassan had pronounced the reserved verdict on a plea filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking orders for the Punjab governor to immediately announce a date for an election in the province

 1Like7:13 pm Earlier, Governor Rehman in his missive to the ECP had declined to fix a date for polls in Punjab due to the “economic situation”, advising it to consult “relevant stakeholders” before it announces a date for the polls

The poll supervisory body has been facing louder calls to announce the date for elections, chiefly from the PTI and, more recently, from President Dr Arif Alvi who urged the commission to immediately issue the election schedule for Punjab and K-P provincial assemblies

In a letter addressed to CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja, President Alvi said that the election of an assembly is to be held within 90 days of the dissolution as provided by Article 224 (2) of the Constitution

Date:15-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link