ISLAMABAD - The sword of uncertainty would keep hanging over the future of more than two dozens parliamentarians who stood victorious in respective by-polls held during the absence of Election Commission of Pakistan. The ECP on Saturday adjourned the hearing of their cases for another month till September 17. The majority of the twenty-eight returned candidates in the by-polls held prior to the ECP reconstitution showed up on ECPs call on Saturday and slammed the commission for having kept the matter lingering without reaching its logical conclusion. Reportedly, the ECP and the fumed legislators, after exchange of heated arguments, finally arrived at a mutual consensus whereby the ECP is likely to validate the by-polls during the next hearing (September 17). As many as 15 parliamentarians appeared before the ECP that met in its full strength comprising the chief election commissioner, secretary ECP and all the four members. The legislators cited the lack of any provision in the Constitution to deal with a situation that arose out of the absence of the ECP before its reconstitution in the light of 18th Amendment. Represented by their respective lawyers, the returned candidates reportedly referred to Article 226 of the Constitution that made it obligatory for the ECP to hold by-elections within 60 days in any constituency wherein a parliamentary seat fell vacant. The candidates are reported to have categorically demanded of the ECP to settle this issue by validating the by-polls immediately. After deliberations, the ECP reportedly instructed the parliamentarians to give their input on the issue in writing, not later than September 17. Earlier on July 19, the ECP had decided to summon all the 28 returned candidates for the Senate, national and provincial assemblies on August 13 (Saturday), in pursuance of the apex courts July 4 directives on by-polls legality issue. The apex court had instructed the ECP to determine whether the by-elections held during the commissions absence had legality. The commission on July 19 had also decided to seek legal opinion from attorney general for Pakistan (AGP) over the issue. According to sources, the ECP and AGP are on the same page regarding the validation of by-polls held at the aforesaid 28 parliamentary constituencies but the latter has still formally not communicated its input to the former, due to his other official engagements. Consequently, the status of these parliamentary polls that was expected to be validated on August 13, would now be legalised on September 17. The conduct of by-polls after the passage of the 18th Amendment had created quite an anomaly. On one hand, the chief election commissioner stood no longer authorised to conduct the parliamentary polls, for the ECP, as per 18th Amendment, ceased to exist and required complete restructuring. On the other hand, the article 226 of the Constitution and its related clauses provided for holding the by-polls within the aforesaid 60 days time span in any circumstances. Given that both the winner as well as defeated candidates in all the 28 parliamentary constituencies did not raise any objection over the legality of by-polls, lingering this issue or holding fresh by-polls would amount to sheer wastage of time, energy and resources considering that the next general polls are not very far. Of the 28 parliamentarians, 18 are members of provincial assemblies from all the four provinces, seven are MNAs and three are senators.