Balloting methodology in Senate elections have to be decided by parliament: CJP

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Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed. — APP/File

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Wednesday mentioned that it’s the parliament that has the authority to determine whether or not or not  to make use of secret balloting in Senate elections.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed famous that the Supreme Court, however, want solely reply three questions:

– Does Article 226 of the Constitution apply to Senate elections or not?

– Could there be a single transferable vote within the Senate election via proportional illustration or not?

– Under Article 226 of the Constitution, are all elections held by secret poll or not?

The chief justice mentioned that apart from these, all issues have to be deliberated in parliament, together with which methodology of voting to implement.

Counsel for the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA), Barrister Salahuddin, mentioned the federal government is “dumping its political responsibilities on to the court”.

Salahuddin mentioned an modification invoice on open balloting has been pending in parliament.

He mentioned arguments made by the Attorney-General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan weren’t primarily based on what the Constitution is, quite on what it needs to be.

“The attorney-general spoke of bags full of money and videos on which the court could not provide a ruling. The government had originally approached the court to seek an opinion but no opinion was taken,” he mentioned.

He mentioned the attorney-general, in addition to the advocate generals from all of the provinces, spoke in favour of open balloting, however none sought the court docket’s opinion.

“It seems the government is not interested in an opinion. It only wants the open balloting method to be ratified,” mentioned the barrister.

Recommending that the court docket not get entangled in such issues, Salahuddin mentioned that previously, references have been filed because of a niche within the Constitution, whereas now, no such void exists.

He mentioned prior to now, the Supreme Court of Pakistan stored itself distant and declared that it was as much as the parliament whether or not or to not recognise Bangladesh as a state, after the partition of West Pakistan.

The barrister additionally cited the instance of the Babri Mosque’s demolition. He mentioned the Indian authorities had sought the opinion of the court docket on the way forward for the location however the court docket in 1992 had properly refused to taken upon itself such a burden.

The chief justice mentioned that the Supreme Court will solely reply to the questions requested within the presidential reference on the matter.

“If the Constitution says there must be secret balloting then that’s the end of the matter,” he mentioned.

“The Supreme Court is not a substitute for the parliament,” he added.

CJP Ahmed mentioned that each state establishment has to function inside its limits. “We will not take matters the parliament is authorised to carry out into our own hands,” he mentioned.

Barrister Salahuddin mentioned the Constitution is silent on the National Assembly Speaker’s elections and the main points are solely accessible within the election rules.

He mentioned that even then, if the Speaker’s election could be held in accordance with the Constitution, then why not the Senate elections.

Salahuddin mentioned the Constitution makes no point out of poll papers. He requested whether or not the top of the Election Act 2017 would imply an finish for Senate elections.

The chief justice remarked that the regulation “never has a void”. “When any law is abolished, the one that was in place before it, becomes the law.”

The case was adjourned until Thursday, February 25. “We will individually listen to all those who are party to the case tomorrow,” the chief justice mentioned.

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