Lawyers calls for strict action to be taken against Chief Election Commissioner
On Thursday, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Abid Zuberi, expressed his belief that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja should face trial under Article 6 of the Constitution, which deals with treason.
This call for legal action arises from Raja's alleged violation of the Supreme Court's orders and the Constitution itself, as he failed to conduct elections within 90 days following the dissolution of an assembly.
On March 1, the Supreme Court issued a split verdict, mandating that elections for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab assemblies be held within 90 days. This directive emerged from a suo motu notice verdict, announced by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. In response to the SC's ruling, President Arif Alvi consulted with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and declared April 30 as the date for the Punjab polls. Subsequently, the electoral authority postponed the Punjab elections to October 8, citing security concerns as the primary reason for this change in plans.
In April, the Supreme Court declared the ECP's decision regarding the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections null and void. It ordered snap polls, a persistent demand pushed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after he dissolved the assemblies in both provinces.
The top court directed the ECP to hold elections in Punjab on May 14, a directive that the ECP was unable to comply with. Speaking at the Lawyers Convention organized by the SCBA, Abid Zuberi criticized the ECP, emphasizing that the Supreme Court's order had yet to be effectively implemented. He also announced the SCBA's intention to challenge recent amendments to the Official Secrets Act and the Pakistan Army Act in the Supreme Court.
Adding to the criticism, veteran lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan labeled CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja as a "facilitator" and "violator of the Constitution" for his alleged failure to conduct general elections in the country on time.