PML-Q moves LHC against ECP suspension of intra-party polls

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The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) order to postpone intra-party elections after a petition was filed by PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Central Secretary PML-Q Kamal Ali Agha filed a petition in the LHC through advocate Safdar Shaheen Pirzada, contending that the electoral watchdog’s order was tantamount to halting the procedure of the party’s election.

He requested that the court annul Chaudhry Shujaat as the PML-Q president, adding that he could become party chief through the intra-party elections if he desired to do so.

Advocate Safdar stated that the impugned order passed by the ECP was against the laws and facts of the case, therefore, not sustainable in the eyes of law and was liable to be set aside.

He further maintained that the ECP could only issue directions or orders according to the necessities of the performance of its functions and duties, but its move in this reference did not fall under the commission’s jurisdiction.

“It is limited to functions of the Commission as prescribed under Elections Act, 2017,” he said.

He argued that Article 175 of the Constitution recognised only those courts that ‘may be established by law’ as per the express wording of the Article.

“It is well-settled that the assumption of power by an authority not mentioned in the Constitution would be illegal, unconstitutional and not liable to be recognised by any court. It is equally trite that any illegal act by a public functionary cannot be protected by the courts” the petition stated.

“Section 208 of the Election Act, 2017 provides that the election of a political party shall be in accordance with the procedure as provided by the Constitution of that political party. That Article 41.1 of the Constitution of PML states that PML Council shall perform the function to elect the President and all other officer bearers of PML,” he highlighted in the petition.

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