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Chief election commissioner, ECP officials to appear before SC on Feb 16

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Picture showing the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad. Photo: File

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has summoned the Chief Election Commissioner and all officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday in relation to the presidential reference case, Geo News reported.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, heard the presidential reference regarding holding Senate elections through an open-ballot voting system on Monday.

In his arguments during the hearing, Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan said that some political parties, as well as bar councils, have applied to be a party in the case, adding that "it is unfortunate that our bar councils are supporting political parties."

"The Pakistan Bar Council and the Sindh High Court Bar have declared the presidential reference to be based on malicious intent," the Attorney General said.

Khalid Javed Khan said that in the past, bar councils used to play a part in [upholding] the supremacy of the Constitution and the law, adding that he requests them to reconsider their position.

The Supreme Court asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to submit the entire scheme of the Senate Election before the court. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that the court wants to question the Chief Election Commissioner.

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The CJP further remarked that the election should be conducted in secret but it should also be open to an investigation if a complaint is lodged regarding it.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that prevention of corrupt practices is the constitutional responsibility of the Election Commission.

The lawyer of the Election Commission said that according to Article 218 of the Constitution, a procedure has been given to stop corrupt practices.

The ECP counsel added that secrecy is the mandate of Article 226. In response, the Chief Justice said that no law can reduce the powers of the ECP under the Constitution.


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