Federal government hints at possibility of filing reference against three SC judges including CJP
ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan has suggested the possibility of taking action against three judges who are presiding over the election delay case.
The government's move comes after the judges, led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, refused to establish a full court bench despite pressure from the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) aligned parties.
The case involves a petition by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking a judicial order for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The tensions have escalated following the top court’s order on March 1 to hold elections in the two provinces within 90 days.
In a recent interview, Rana Sanaullah said that the government has not yet decided to file a reference against the three-member bench, but it may proceed to do so. He noted that the government has serious concerns and reservations about the judges' impartiality, stating that they have a long record of giving anti-PML-N rulings. He also referred to a previous verdict that has been criticized for its interpretation of Article 63(A), which led to the overthrow of the PML-N government in Punjab.
The interior minister further added that the three judges have rejected the request to form a full court bench and have refused to acknowledge the request from their fellow judges. He called on PTI chief Imran Khan to directly approach Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Asif Zardari, or Shehbaz Sharif for negotiations if he is serious about talks. Rana Sanaullah stated that all the coalition leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari, unanimously agreed that the three-member bench's proceedings were unconstitutional and illegal.