New SC bench to hear poll delay case today


Justice Aminuddin recuses himself from hearing

Hours after Justice Aminuddin Khan recused himself from a Supreme Court bench hearing the PTI’s petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to delay polls in Punjab, the SC said that a new bench will take up the case at 11:30am Friday.

The SC order, read out by the court staff, stated that the decision regarding the members of the bench will be taken on Friday and the case will be decided before a bench that does not include Justice Khan.

In an unexpected development, the five-member apex court bench hearing the case was dissolved after Justice Khan distanced himself from it.

“After yesterday’s judgement, I recuse myself from hearing the case,” Justice Khan said.

He referred to a judgement, authored by himself and Justice Isa, issued a day earlier which noted that the chief justice of Pakistan did not have the power to make special benches or decide its members, and said that all hearings based on suo motu notices and cases of constitutional significance — under Article 184(3) — should be postponed until they are legislated upon.

The original bench was constituted by CJP Umar Ata Bandial. It was headed by the CJP himself and included Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Khan.

The judgement to which Justice Khan referred for his recusal was issued in a suo motu case related to the award of an additional 20 marks to candidates for memorising the Holy Quran by heart to get an MBBS or BDS degree.

A three-member special bench, formed by the CJP, heard the case. It was headed by Justice Isa and comprised Justice Khan and Justice Shahid Waheed. Yesterday’s verdict was issued by Justice Khan and Justice Isa, while Justice Waheed disagreed with the judgement and will write a separate dissenting note.