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No one can restrict govt from promulgating ordinances, says CJP

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has approached the Supreme Court (SC) in an attempt to block the Elections Amendment Ordinance 2021 and prevent the holding of the Senate elections through an open ballot method, it emerged on Monday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, during the hearing of the aforementioned petition, weakened the hopes of the opposition and said that the government was within its rights to issue an ordinance.

However, the CJP observed that, “I think they [government] entered the domain of speculations. I don’t know how they did it. No one can stop them.”

Justice Gulzar further added that, “If we hold that the Senate elections is under the Constitution, then the ordinance will die down.”

Commenting during the hearing, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan questioned how the ordinance was a preemptive attempt at legislation, adding that if anyone who has an objection with it can approach the high court.

At this, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan said that the ordinance was not preemptive but also a conditional legislation. He questioned the politicians terming it as an attack on parliament or the top court.

Justice Ahsan observed that according to a news report, the government promulgated the ordinance because the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had scheduled the Senate elections for February 11.

At the onset of the hearing, JUI-F’s counsel Kamran Murtaza argued that the government did not respect the court proceedings and promulgated an ordinance over a matter that was sub judice.

He requested the court to look into the matter. The counsel also stated that never before have legislation been passed in this manner before.

The bench, however, issued notice to the AGP over the JUI-F’s petition.

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