ISLAMABAD - The federal government on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan to form a commission comprising judges of apex court to probe rigging in the general elections 2013.
Federal Secretary Law Barrister Zafarullah Khan wrote a letter to the Registrar SC Syed Tahir Shahbaz to place the federal government's request for setting up inquiry commission under Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 1956.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday (August 12) in its address to the nation announced that the federal government has decided to appoint a Commission of Inquiry consisting of three judges of the Supreme Court to inquire into the allegations levelled by Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan regarding conduct of the general elections 2013.
Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 1956 (VI of 1956) provides that the federal government may, if it is of the opinion that it is necessary so to do by notification in the official Gazette appoint a Commission of Inquiry for the purpose of making an inquiry into any definite matter of the public importance and performing such functions and within such time as may be specified in the notification and the Commission so appointed shall make the inquiry and perform the functions accordingly.
The secretary has proposed that a formal approval for the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry may be accorded; "Whether the allegations levelled by PTI chief that the general elections of 2013 were manipulated or influenced by anyone for the benefit of a political party or individuals, have any basis in fact or law, and if so, to fix responsibility thereof."
This ministry proposes that sub-sections (2), (3), (4), (4A), (5) and (6) of section 5, sections 6, 8, 9 and 10 of the aforesaid act may be made applicable to the proposed commission.
The commission may be asked to complete its report within 90 days. The cabinet division may provide secretarial support to the commission in performance of its functions.
The registrar has been requested to send the names of judges with one to be the president of the commission.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Ramzan Chaudhry and Mohammad Ahsan Bhoon, vice-chairman and member of Pakistan Bar Council respectively have denounced the announcement to constitute a commission consisting of SC judges for investigating the allegations of rigging, saying it is violative of articles 225 and 218 of the constitution.
They have also taken exception to entertaining of petitions by high courts filed by individuals seeking directions to political parties to desist from carrying out their political activities which may tarnish the image of judiciary as dragging of political issues into the courts.
They have emphasised that the judiciary should not involve itself into political matters, as it might tarnish its image of neutrality and independence.
As the political matters should be resorted at political forums, it would be in fitness of things and in the national interest that the same are tackled and dealt with politically in parliament, which is the proper forum for discussing and resolving such issues.