LAHORE - The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday told the Lahore High Court that it would entertain any request of Punjab government or any other stakeholder for the postponement of by-elections before issuing a fresh schedule for the poll in the province. This was stated in a written detailed reply submitted before a division bench of the LHC on behalf of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan and its Secretary. The reply, however, requested the court to review the impugned order of single bench to the extent of holding a binding on the Commission to consult the executive authorities and others before announcing elections. It said the observations made in the single benchs order directly affect the independence of the Commission with regard to its constitutional obligations and also have the effect of abridging the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution. It pleaded that binding the Commission to hear the provincial government before issuance of the schedule or fixing poll day would be in contravention of the Constitution and the election laws which would create more problems for the Commission to hold elections within prescribed time period. The reply insisted that before the schedule was announced the chief secretary was heard on August 20, 2009 and thereafter time was taken by him to intimate and appear. And the matter was taken up on September 15, 2009 with the petition of Sheikh Rashid Ahmad when nobody from Punjab government appeared except an assistant advocate general but he also could not communicate any date for poll. Therefore taking into consideration the earlier record and after hearing the parties the date of poll was announced and schedule was issued. In the circumstances, there was no violation of natural justice, the reply maintained. The Commission submitted that it would hear all the stakeholders and if request for delaying of by-polls would be supported by convincing evidence showing sufficient reason, the discretion to accept such request will be at the judicious discretion of the Commission. The division bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan adjourned for Wednesday (today) hearing of three appeals against the postponement of by-elections through an order issued by a single bench of the high court. The bench directed the appellants and provincial govts counsel to come up with their replies and further arguments. The appeals were filed by M Azhar Siddique advocate, a candidate from NA-123, Lahore, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, candidate from NA-55, Rawalpindi and Manzoor Ali Gillani advocate, also a candidate NA-123. The appellants said the Punjab Government had no locus standi to file a writ petition seeking delay of by-election because it was not an aggrieved party. They said the whole election process was a matter between Chief Election Commission and the candidates while the governments were bound to carry out CECP directions. They said the CECP was not constitutionally bound to consult/hear the any government prior to issuance of election schedule. Therefore, the appellant prayed that the operation of LHCs October 9 judgment might be set aside. Hearing adjourned The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday adjourned the hearing for October 22 of a writ petition challenging Pakistan Bar Councils decision that had allowed Munawar Iqbal Gondal to continue as president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA). Justice Sh Azmat Saeed had already suspended PBCs order, paving way for Nasira Iqbal to kept presidential office. On Tuesday, Azhar Siddique, counsel for Gondal, sought time to file comments. Azhar would also argue on legal status of Lahore High Court Bar Association. He said it is mere an association and neither a constitutional writ petition could not be filed against it nor LHC could entertain it.