LAHORE - Expressing dismay over the disturbance created by PTI workers in the Lahore High Court on the appearance of their leader Imran Khan, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial referred the appeal of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to ECP against its verdict over an alleged rigging in NA-122.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial referred the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide it on its own. In the order, the CJ observed that in the light of several judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the authority, autonomy, independence and sanctity of Election Commission of Pakistan is upheld.
Referring to the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan on June 18 last year, the CJ held that the results can be inspected while the petitioner, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, is also not opposed to it. He, however, said any officer of the federal government or provincial government can be assigned by the Election Commission of Pakistan in coonection with inspection of the election record.
The CJ said if the Election Commission declined to depute some officer from the Punjab government or the federal government, it should consult the judiciary before appointing any judicial officer for this purpose.
The CJ remarked that the judiciary had accepted a special request of ECP and deputed its officers for holding the general election 2013, otherwise it had nothing to do with it. The judicial officers, he remarked, were already overburdened by their judicial work and had no time for election matters. He said only in Punjab, 2.2 million cases were being taken up per year.
Earlier, the CJ asked Ahmad Owais, counsel for Imran Khan, about his written statement. The respondent’s counsel read out the statement which stated that on that day lawyers of the PTI entered the courtroom peacefully, keeping in mind the decorum of the court. He said the PTI always wanted rule of law and independence of judiciary.
The CJ asked the counsel if the statement had been signed by Imran Khan himself. The counsel said he had the authority to sign his statement. The CJ asked Owais if Imran was sorry over the incident. He replied, of course, he was regretful. The CJ repeatedly asked him the same question. He said the PTI workers should have controlled their emotions as it was the court of law and emotions did not work here.
Imran Khan had approached the ECP for inspection of the polling record after he lost to Sadiq in NA-122. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had challenged the orders of the commission on his appeal.