ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Thursday directed the inspectors general of police (IGPs) to take action against all policemen who failed to submit challans in those cases sent by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the parliamentarians holding fake degrees.

The bench also directed the registrars of the high courts to place the names of sessions judges before the respective chief justices so that appropriate order could be issued against them for not disposing of the cases expeditiously. The bench ordered the HC registrars and the IGPs to send report to the ECP before 4th April.

The trial courts were directed to hold proceedings on daily basis without adjournment, unless cogent reason is given by the parties for postponement of the cases. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was hearing Jamshed Dasti’s petition.

The court turned down Jamshaid Dasti’s request that direction be issued to the ECP for not proceeding against him. However, the court directed the Sessions Judge Muzaffargarh to decide his case before 4th April 2013. The chief justice asked Jamshed Dasti to demonstrate his qualification to contest polls in the forthcoming elections.

The former MNA from Muzaffargarh told the apex court that he was being victimised after he announced to contest elections as an independent candidate quitting the PPP against former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

The court ordered the ECP to follow Article 218(3) of the Constitution, saying under the constitutional provision the commission was duty-bound to arrange and organise free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

The court observed that in so many apex court judgments the voter was the main stakeholder and needed to have full knowledge of the candidate whom he or she will give vote.

The ECP and the registrars of the high courts, except Balochistan High Court, submitted the details of the cases pending either before the police for investigation or before the court, particularly in Punjab since 2010 onwards.

The court expressed anger that police or investigating agencies were responsible for concluding the investigation of fake degree-holders’ cases promptly by sending the challans in the court under Section 173 CrPc 173.

The court noted that police and the investigating agencies to whom the cases were sent seemed negligent in completing the task assigned to them by the ECP. The court said that reasons could only be known if they would be called upon and explanation would be sought from them by the inspector general of police.

The case was adjourned till April 4.