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Punjab polls: LHC to wait for 90 days for order implementation | The Express Tribune


Lahore High Court’s Justice Jawad Hassan has said that he will wait 90 days to see if the court’s order to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding elections within the stipulated timeframe is complied with or not.

The senior judge was hearing a plea on Tuesday seeking direction to President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi for giving an election date in Punjab as the ECP has failed to comply with the court’s order directing the electoral body to hold elections within 90 days.

However, the petition was dismissed as withdrawn.

As proceedings commenced, the petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique pleaded to the court that the LHC on February 10 had ordered ECP to announce elections date in Punjab but the ECP did not comply with the order.

Also read: ‘Headway’ in election schedule for Punjab

He requested the court to direct the president of Pakistan to announce the elections date, seeking further action against the Punjab governor and the electoral body for not entertaining the court’s order.

However, Justice Jawad Hassan remarked it is not the obligation of the ECP to give a date for elections.

“We will first wait for 90 days and then see if this order is not complied with. No need to worry, I am sitting here,” Justice Jawad remarked.

In a landmark ruling on February 10, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered the ECP to announce the date for elections in Punjab without delay.

Also read: LHC orders Punjab polls within 90 days

Justice Jawad Hassan had stated that the ECP is obligated to conduct the elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the assembly.

“The ECP is directed to immediately announce the date of election of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab with the notification specifying reasons, after consultation with the governor of Punjab, being the constitutional head of the province, to ensure that the elections are held not later than ninety days as per the mandate of the Constitution,” read the verdict.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had approached the LHC on January 27 seeking orders for the Punjab governor to immediately announce a date for an election in the province since the assembly had been dissolved on Jan 12.

“Without any shadow of doubt, 90 days’ time is mandated in the Constitution for fixing/announcing the date of election of a provincial assembly after its dissolution in terms of Article 105 and timeframe provided under articles 112 and 224(2),” the order read.

The ECP had recommended the elections be held between April 9 and 17.

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