SC to announce verdict on PTI plea challenging election delay in Punjab

Pakistan’s Supreme Court – SC will announce its verdict on Tuesday on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) petition. The petition challenges the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polls to the Punjab Assembly till October 8.

A three-member bench comprises Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar. The judges have reserved the judgment after hearing all the parties. These include the government, the PTI, the ECP, and others.

The hearings in the case lasted over a week. The case has witnessed high drama after two judges of the original five-member bench recused themselves from hearing the case. The judges who backed out include Justices Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Aminuddin Khan. Thereafter, the CJP constituted a bench comprising himself, Justice Ahsan, and Justice Akhtar.

Ahead of the crucial hearing, the government submitted a statement through Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan, requesting the formation of a full court to hear the case. It also sought the dismissal of the PTI petition in light of what it interpreted as a “4-3” order issued by the apex court on March 1.

On March 1, the SC announce in a verdict that elections in KPK and Punjab should be held within 90 days. Both provinces are under caretaker governments since the dissolution of the provincial assemblies in January. However, the government disputed the court’s directions and called the verdict 4-3 instead after Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah — two of the four judges who wrote additional notes in the Feb 23 order — raised objections to the constitution of the bench and the chief justice’s invocation of the apex court’s suo motu jurisdiction.

Political leaders and citizens alike are closely watching the outcome of this case.

Some have praised it as a victory for justice and democracy, while others have criticized it as a failure of the legal system.

The future plans of PTI are currently unknown, but many speculate that they will continue to be an active voice in Pakistani politics and may even run for office again in future elections. The verdict could have far-reaching implications for Pakistani politics and may even shape future elections.

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