Plea against judges’ ordinance set for hearing

In Local
June 02, 2024


The Lahore High Court (LHC) has scheduled a hearing for a petition filed against a presidential ordinance that allows appointment of retired judges to the election tribunal. Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza of the LHC will hear the case against the presidential ordinance on June 3.

The petition was filed by a citizen, Mashkoor Hussain, through Advocate Nadeem Sarwar. The federal government, the Ministry of Law, and others have been made respondents in the petition.

Acting President Yousuf Raza Gillani on May 27 gave his seal of approval to two ordinances regarding amendments to the Election Act, 2017 and the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

Through the new Election Commission Ordinance, amendments were made to the Election Act 2023, enabling amendments to the law regarding the establishment of the election tribunal.

According to the ordinance, retired judges, along with serving judges of high courts, could also be appointed to the Election Tribunal, concerning electoral disputes.

Defending the ordinance, Federal Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar on May 29 said establishing election tribunals was purely the prerogative of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

“In this regard, the Supreme Court also established a principle in the 1998 Mehram Ali case, stating that under Article 225, the formation of election tribunals falls within the authority of the ECP,” Tarar said while talking to journalists outside the Supreme Court building on Wednesday.

He said it is for the ECP to decide whether it wants to create new election tribunals, maintain the old ones, make any changes, or transfer cases from one tribunal to another.

“It is not appropriate for high courts to send names [of proposed judges] and issue orders on how the tribunals should be formed. The ECP is a constitutional institution that operates in accordance with the Constitution,” he added.

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