ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday directed all the election tribunals (ET) to expedite the proceedings pending before them while suspending open handed stays.

The directive was made by a two-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chuahdry and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja while hearing an appeal filed by Jhangir Tareen Khan, a runner-up candidate from NA-154 Lodhraan.

During the course of proceedings, Hafiz Pirzada, counsel for the applicant, apprised the bench that the respondent was using delaying tactics. Even after repeated orders of the apex court, the counsel for the respondent did not appear, he added.

He further stated that despite lapse of three months, the respondent had not submitted his reply.

Pirzada also apprised the bench that the proceedings of election tribunal were stayed afteran open handed stay order given by the Lahore High Court, causing delay in deciding the matter. The Chief Justice observed that open handed stay on the proceedings was beyond of law and justice.

Later the bench directed the Secretary Law and Justice Commission to convey its orders to all the election tribunals to speed up the matters pending before them relating to elections and try to decide  them within three months.

The court also directed the tribunals that if any litigant or respondent failed to response properly or used delay tactics in the proceedings penal proceedings could be initiated against them. The bench adjourned the case for three weeks.