ISLAMABAD: Accepting a government’s request, the Supreme Court on Monday extended the deadline till December 1 to appoint a permanent Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk made it clear that, in case of the non-appointment of CEC until December 1, the court will consider issuing notices to the prime minister as well as leader of the opposition in National Assembly for explanation that why the appointment had not so far been made.
Appearing on notice, Attorney General for Pakistan Salman Butt, apprised the court that government and majority of opposition parties had agreed on the name of one retired judge to fill the vacant slot of CEC but one major political party, (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) had raised objections over the nomination.
He said the consultation process had started between the prime minister and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly again, but leader of opposition Khursheed Shah went abroad, which led to further dealy. He, however stated that the opposition leader would be back in two days.
He requested the court to provide some more time enabling the government to implement its orders. The chief justice raised objection over the delay, noting that there should be no excuse further.
Justice Gulzar Ahmad noted that nothing had been done seriously to this effect and asked the attorney general to bring the notification regarding the CEC appointment.
The attorney general, however, submitted that the opposition leader was in Europe. “In this modern era, contact can be established with him in Europe. We understand your sincere efforts. Can you place these efforts on the record?” Justice Gulzar asked the attorney general.
The court reminded the attorney general that on last hearing, it (court) had it clear that if there will be no appointment then it will withdraw its judge, who is performing duty as acting CEC. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till December 01.
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