The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the membership of 28 members of parliament and provincial assemblies, including two federal ministers, whose elections had been challenged on the plea that they had been elected on bogus voters’ lists.

Chief of Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan had filed a petition in the apex court against any election on the current voter lists as he claimed the lists have over 30 million fake votes.

Khan had also requested the apex court to block more bye-elections until the Election Commission of Pakistan prepares corrected electoral rolls that do not list bogus voters.

The Supreme Court had given time to the Election Commission to remove the fake votes and to prepare new lists but the Commission could not meet the deadline.

Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain are among those whose memberships were cancelled. The Petroleum Minister is accompanying Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who is visiting Qatar. The Finance Minister is in Islamabad and has been performing ministerial duties when the court issued the orders.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as head of a four-member bench issued the order. He remarked that the court did not receive any clear stance on the issue of bogus voter lists. He said the court did not declare election of the members null and void and only suspended their membership. He said the suspended members will not get any privileges unless they are restored.

Suspended members include senators, members of the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies, who had been elected in bye-elections during the past two years.

The bench also includes Justice Tariq Pearvez and Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani.

Last month the CJ had remarked that the court will have to annul the by-elections, in case the Constitution is not amended. The Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had said that the court will have to annul by-elections as unconstitutional, as there are over 3,500,000 bogus votes in the old lists, if the Constitution is not amended by February 6.