The Lahore High Court (LHC) has sought reply from Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman and other parties in a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking the announcement of date for elections in the province.
LHC Justice Jawad Hassan heard the plea wherein PTI Secretary General Asad Umar had requested the court to direct the Punjab governor to immediately announce the date of elections in Punjab.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Hassan inquired when the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hold elections in the province. To which, the ECP lawyer said: “We are ready to hold polls”. He further said the governor had replied to a letter sent by the electoral body seeking a date for the elections. The governor had asked the ECP to hold consultation with all stakeholders.
Justice Hassan remarked that elections should be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assembly as per the Constitution. “How can you say that economic condition is deteriorated?” the judge asked the ECP counsel. He remarked elections had been held in the past when economic condition was also shaky.
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At one point, the judge asked Mr Umar if a larger bench should be made to hear the case. The PTI leader, however, requested the court not to establish a larger bench.
During the hearing, a lawyer for the Punjab governor sought seven-day time from the court to submit reply, however, it was opposed by the PTI arguing that it would delay the process.
The LHC asked Mr Umar to not worry as now the case was being heard by the court. Later, Justice Jawad Hassan directed the counsel for the governor and other parties to submit their detailed replies by Feb 9 and adjourned the hearing till same date.