Conduct Elections In Punjab On May 14, SC Rules

Conduct Elections In Punjab On May 14, SC Rules
The Supreme Court (SC) has declared the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) decision regarding the postponement of elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) till October as null and void.

A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and including Justices Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar, announced the decision.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court deemed the election body's decision to hold elections on October 8 "unconstitutional" and mandated that they take place on May 14 in Punjab.

The supreme court stated that the election process was in its fifth stage when the ECP announced its decision, adding that "Constitution and law do not provide [ECP] the jurisdiction to postpone the poll date."

The court stated that the ECP's order wasted 13 days and that the decision to move the election to October 8 was unlawful on the part of the electoral body.

The ruling states that the election tribunal will publish its decision on the appeals on April 17 and that the deadline for filing an appeal against the returning officer's decision is April 10.

The ruling stated that "elections in Punjab and KP shall be transparent, unbiased, and in accordance with the law."

Also, it mandated that the ECP receive Rs21 billion in funding from the federal government by April 10 and that it provide a report on the matter by April 11.

The judgment further said that, in the event that the money is not provided, the Supreme Court will give directions to the relevant authorities.

The top court's ruling stated that the Punjab government shall provide the Election Commission with a security plan. It further stated that a report on the electoral personnel should be submitted to the ECP by April 10 by the caretaker government and chief secretary of Punjab.

The top court further ordered the federal government to offer support and provide resources, such as Rangers, FC personnel, and military forces, in order to hold elections in the provinces.

Regarding the elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the three-member bench stated that no one spoke on behalf of the provincial governor during the hearing, therefore the matter will only be discussed up to this point.