ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan is likely to recommend in its report, to be submitted with the Supreme Court, to validate by-polls held before the restructuring of ECP, as the commission completed the hearings on legality of by-elections on Saturday. The ECP report is likely to be submitted soon. Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Hamid Ali Mirza and all the four provincial election commissioners on Saturday heard Attorney General of Pakistan Molvi Anwar-ul-Haq and returning candidates for the by-polls held during the ECP absence. Nine parliamentarians out of 28 who had stood victorious in the by-polls prior to ECP reconstitution had showed up for Saturdays hearing while the remaining ones were represented by their respective counsels. According to sources, all the stakeholders including the AGP, MPs, their counsels and ECP officials were on same page for recommending to the SC to validate the by-elections. The sources quoted the AGP as saying that CEC conducted the by-polls after the 18th amendment only because ECP had ceased to exist. The CEC had conducted the by-polls during ECP absence following due course of official action. Had ECP conducted the by-polls, the same would have been the outcome, the AGP reportedly said. He is also quoted to have said that the 18th Amendment delegated all the necessary powers from the CEC to ECP but the electoral procedure for the by-polls was same whether the former or the latter conducted them. There were no contradictions found and no complaints received to this effect, Haq said. PML-Q MNA Awais Leghari reportedly argued that it would be an insult to the public mandate if the by-polls were to be declared null and void. The CEC conducted the by-polls because a unique situation had arisen. Whats the difference whether ECP or CEC conducted the by-polls? Re-elections would be an insult to the voters mandate. The electoral process would become a joke, he reportedly said. The CEC conducted the by-polls in the absence of ECP just like the President takes charge when National Assembly is not functional and governors take charge when provincial assemblies cease to exist, Muhammad Idrees Advocate reportedly argued. Reportedly, the MPs and their counsels repeatedly cited Articles 224 and 225 of the Constitution to support their viewpoint that the CEC held the by-polls after the passage of the 18th Amendment since the aforesaid Article provided for conducting polls within 60 days in case any parliamentary seat fell vacant on any given pretext. A three-member bench of the SC comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Pervaiz and Justice Amir Hani Muslim had instructed the ECP on June 14 last to submit a report regarding the legal status of by-elections held after the passage of the 18th Amendment. In pursuance of these orders, the ECP had decided to summon all the 28 returned candidates for the Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies and seek legal advice from the AGP. The previous hearing was held on August 13. It merits mentioning here that the 18th Amendment laid down for the transference of powers from the Chief Election Commissioner to the Election Commission of Pakistan after reconstitution. The delay in ECP reconstitution on part of the government on one or the other pretext had created an anomaly as on one hand, the CEC stood no longer authorised to hold elections as per the aforesaid amendment while on the other, the Constitution provided for conducting by-polls within sixty days for any vacant parliamentary seat.