Staff Reporter Islamabad
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed dampened the opposition’s hopes on Monday after he observed that no one can stop the government from promulgating the ordinance regarding open balloting in the Senate elections.
This was observed by the Supreme Court while hearing the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s petition filed against the Election Amendment Ordinance that seeks to conduct the forthcoming Senate elections through open voting.
On Saturday, President Dr Arif Alvi signed off the ordinance as the government still awaited the SC’s opinion on whether open balloting could take place without a constitutional amendment.
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.