Court: Dr Tahirul Qadri moves SC for ECP’s reconstitution

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking restructuring of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in accordance with the constitution for holding the upcoming general election in a free, fair and transparent manner.

He prayed the court to declare the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and four other members of the Election Commission of Pakistan not in accordance with the provisions of Article 213 and 218 of the constitution, hence all these appointment are void ab-initio.

The petition was filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making Federation of Pakistan through Ministry of Law and Justice, the Election Commission of Pakistan through Chief Election Commissioner, Federal Secretary Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Parliamentary Committee of National Assembly for the appointment of members of the Election Commission of Pakistan as respondents.

He prayed the court to direct the federation of Pakistan to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner and all other members of the Election Commission of Pakistan immediately in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 213 (2) (a) and 218 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of Pakistan so that the forthcoming election may not be delayed on any pretext and is conducted, fairly and in accordance with law.

He cited a recent case concerning the appointment of Justice ® Syed Deedar Hussain Shah as Chairman NAB wherein, The Supreme Court invalidated his appointment for the reason that before making appointment the leader of the opposition had not been consulted and that mandatory requirement in that regard had remained unfulfilled.

It may recalled here that earlier on Wednesday Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan had also joined hands with Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek and called for a powerful ECP and an impartial caretaker government to ensure free, fair and transparent general elections.

On Jan 27, the government had rejected as unconstitutional Dr Qadri’s demands for reconstituting the ECP and freezing discretionary and development funds. Talking to media persons outside the court’s premises, Qadri alleged that the existing ECP was formed unconstitutionally, thus it was illegal.

He said according to Article 213 of the Constitution the names of three nominations from each province should have been suggested but the procedure was not followed. To a query, Qadri said he personally submitted the petition in the Supreme Court and he would argue the case by himself.

He said Article 218 of the constitution deals with the matters relating to ECP, adding that the ECP would be reconstituted under Article 213. He said the constitution says that said that the constitution stated that the ECP would be consisted of five members.

Qadri said under the constitution, 15 names would be presented before the parliament before the appointment of members in ECP. The parliament would hear all the 15 candidates under article 213. The constitution bounds parliamentary hearing before the appointment of members in the commission, he added.