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SC summons chief election commissioner in presidential reference case

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has summoned Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Tuesday (tomorrow) concerning the Presidential reference to conduct the Senate elections by open balloting.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed headed the five-member bench that heard the presidential reference. The attorney general told the court that he will conclude his arguments today, and that some political parties and bar councils requested to become parties in the case.

He said, “It is regrettable that our bar councils are supporting political parties. The Pakistan Bar Council and the Sindh High Court Bar Council have declared that the reference is based on dishonesty. Opposition of the open balloting by political parties and bar councils is alarming.”

The CJP said in his remarks that the bar councils’ stance is that nothing should be done against the constitution. Justice Ijazul Ahsan said bar councils sent their resolutions to the judges hearing the case which is unprofessional. The work of bar councils and courts should be clarified, he added.

The attorney general, while expressing disappointing, replied that the Senate elections by open balloting are the biggest threat to bar councils. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed stressed that bar councils’ position should be independent, not political.

The attorney general said he would request bar councils, which played the role for the supremacy of the law and the constitution in past, to reconsider their approach.

The top court said it is the duty of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to stop corrupt practices; therefore, it wants to question the CEC. The SC also summoned the scheme of the Senate elections. 

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