SC allows PTI to amend petition against delimitations

ISLAMABAD   –   The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday permitted Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) to amend its petition against the fresh delimitation of constituencies all over the country.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan conducted hearing of PTI General Secretary Asad Umer’s petition filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution seeking a declaration that the delimitation schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on April 11 was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

Advocate Faisal Chaudhry appearing on behalf of PTI argued that the ECP carrying out work on new delimitation of constituencies and the new delimitation do not have protection of Article 51(5) of the Constitution.

Justice Ijaz observed that according to the reports, the ECP is looking towards the relevant authorities, asking them when the population census 2021 will be completed. He said that the ECP after receiving reply from the concerned quarters would decide about the delimitation.

The petitioner further prayed that the delimitation notified under the notification dated 3rd of May 2018 may be held exhaustive for all intents and purposes of the elections until a new census takes place.

He requested the court to direct the Election Commissioner and Secretary ECP to ensure electoral process (whenever it is called) in accordance with law and the Constitution and strictly refrain from creating any delay.

He submitted that the schedule issued by the Election Commission is unconstitutional and illegal. He added that the delimitation of the constituencies being a constitutional function cannot be conducted in violation of the mandatory command of the Constitution and the law.

The counsel further said that the special permission was granted by the then parliament to carry out the delimitation of national and provincial constituencies, on the basis of provisional census result. Such action was introduced as an exception to the general rule to ensure the general elections 2018, and thereafter article 51(5) of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, stands restored in its actual form.

He stated that new delimitation of provincial and national constituencies all over Pakistan and scheduled issued by the ECP amounts into departure from article 51(5) in absence of new census and stands squarely in violation thereof. As the delimitation exercise conducted in 2018 on the command of the constitution has to be considered final till the new census takes place. Admittedly no new census has been carried till the date. Hence the respondents are bound to hold elections on the basis of delimitation colluded previously.

The PTI said that the schedule issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan with regard to the delimitation of the constituencies of National and Provincial constituencies is contrary to the law and the constitution and liable to be struck down.

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