Peshawar High Court Addresses Concerns on Election Schedule Declaration & Electoral Transparency

Peshawar High Court Addresses

Peshawar High Court Addresses

During a Trial in Peshawar High Court, the Electoral Process in the country is being discussed with the Election Commission of Pakistan and its representatives. The trial revolves around the election schedule to be rendered by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Peshawar High Court stressed adherence to the legislation provision prescribed for the duration in which the electoral schedule ought to be issued by law. Sources reported that the response of the Election Commission of Pakistan to the Peshawar High Court was rapid and adequate. Naeem Ahmed Khattak, a leading counsel in the vicinity has instituted this petition seeking the publication of the election schedule well before the time so candidates, parties, and above all public can exercise their basic democratic electoral right. Mr. Khattak has challenged potential delaying tactics adopted by the Election Commission of Pakistan and questioned the legality of such delays in election proceedings leading to possible litigation and more confusion.

PHC’s Directive and Bench Composition

In response to a petition presented before the Peshawar High Court on behalf of Learned Counsel Naeem Ahmad Khattak, the bench is headed by Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali. Aware of electoral complications, the Hon’ble Court stressed that timely declaration of an election program is crucial to the public and stakeholders. Therefore, electoral laws and the implementation of those laws must be made mandatory by the Election Commission of Pakistan.  The Hon’ble Court reaffirmed its resolve for openness and demanded that the ECP must produce an elaborate timetable after the official promulgation. The Hon’ble bench spoke out quite proactively on the matter of guaranteeing the transparency of democratic procedures through the elections and their importance for the court. The court’s insistence on timeliness becomes a central issue in the wider debate about the imminent general elections as the proceedings develop.

Petitioner’s Allegations and Application

Naeem Ahmad Khattak through his counsellor advocate Ali Azim Afridi leveled strong accusations against ECP and its members. Afridi contended that the different steps by ECP, particularly notice issued to delimitations, were calculated approaches meant mainly for postponing scheduled polls. This is part and parcel of the legal argument which implies that there was an arrangement aimed at postponing the elections. In a further escalation of legal measures, an application was formally filed, calling for contempt proceedings against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and four ECP members. This development was based on the supposed violation of Supreme Court orders that created a stormy legality over ECP’s issues in election affairs. This complex aspect of the case involves the call for accountability on the part of the court as it goes along with these accusations.

Constitutional Basis and Dissolution of the National Assembly

Advocate Afridi argued an important constitutional obligation – elections ought to be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly (August 10, 2023). Afridi’s argument was premised on the claim that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) deliberately delayed the electoral process through the publication of a controversial notification dated August 27th, 2023. This move from Afridi’s point of view was a gross misconduct of Articles that are very painstakingly enacted to guarantee efficiency in democratic procedure.

In highlighting the particular constitutional schedule, Afridi aimed at demystifying the principles that form the bedrock of the election procedures. Legally, it was clear that the time taken by the ECP to notify as well as how it had been done, coupled with the controversy of the same, gave rise to some of these concerns raised and even seemed to contradict the Constitution which directs fast election exercise after dis Constitutional issues raised by Afridi become significant in examining the legality of the Election Commission in legal debate that follows.

ECP’s Defense and Legal Standpoint

The Lawyer of the Election Commission of Pakistan maintained that the petition was obsolete as the delimitation process had already taken place. Mr. Mohsin Kamran Siddique added that as per the Elections Act of 2017, the commission had enough time to come up with a schedule for elections. He emphasized that by stressing transparency he would make this schedule transparently and to all people available after its official issue.

The respondent wanted to refute the claims of the petitioner by referring to a series of events such as the completion of the delimitation and the fact that it was no longer an issue at hand. Additionally, the ECP’s timeline for issuing out an election schedule was explained concerning the Elections Act of 2017, thus emphasizing the legal framework under which it operates. In light of the ongoing legal proceedings, Siddique’s assertions are essential to determining whether or not the petitioners’ grievances are relevant and timely.

Legal Analysis and Constitutional Mandates

Advocate Afridi gave a forceful rebuttal of this argument, stressing that it is the constitutional duty of the ECP to declare the electoral timetable expeditiously. With the utmost conviction, he firmly maintained that divergence from the provision of law would amount to illegality, affirmatively noting that the ECP was not constitutionally vested with a right to postpone the timetable. This is a position that was meant to safeguard the integrity of the Constitution in areas related to the conduct of elections.

Peshawar High Court intervened following a lawsuit contesting delimitations and election postponements. The need for immediate disclosure of the election schedule is a central issue in this ongoing legal debate regarding court requirements for openness and compliance with pertinent policies to safeguard democracy during elections. The judicial intrusion brings one more dimension into the discourse and illustrates why the constitution is so important for the cleanliness of any electoral process.

Read More: Ensuring Fundamental Rights: Imran Khan’s Plea to CJP Qazi Faez Isa Amidst Political Turmoil

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top