Punjab, KP elections: Contempt pleas filed against PM, others for defying SC orders

The plea urges to initiate contempt proceedings against PM Shehbaz Sharif, CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja and others

By Sohail Khan
May 28, 2023
Police personals walk outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 25, 2022. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) was requested on Saturday to initiate contempt proceedings against Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and others for not implementing its orders on holding elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP).


Zainab Umair and Talat Fatemeh Naqvi filed a contempt petition in the apex court under Article 204 of the Constitution, read with Section 3 and 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, against the judgment issued on March 1, 2023 in suo motu case and subsequent orders passed by the apex court.

Filed through Muhammad Azhar Siddique, advocate, the petitioners made 16 respondents in the petition, including PM Shehbaz, CEC Sikandar Raja, four members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan, Sima Akmal, acting governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and Awais Manzur Sumra, special finance secretary.

The petitioners prayed to the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondents for not implementing its orders, including but not limited to issuance of show-cause notice, framing of charges, convicting and sentencing the same for contempt of court.

The petitioners submitted that the quarters concerned had expressly made a commitment before the SC to sort out the issue of financial dearth and to provide the requisite funds to the ECP for timely holding of general election to the provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP.

“Surprisingly, the federal government has deliberately failed to honour its aforementioned commitment made in all broad daylight before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, of course, thereby impudently committing contempt of court,” the petitioner submitted.

They further informed the court that the unequivocal order passed by the SC manifestly depicted the court’s view and verdict on the issue at hand.

They submitted that the court had reaffirmed its earlier stance and not moved an inch from its already stipulated date of 14-5-2023 through its order, dated 4-4-2023, for holding the general election to 34 NA seats and two provincial assemblies, Punjab and KP.

The petitioners submitted that on 6-4-2023, the National Assembly, in a resolution, deliberately rejected the apex court decision about the Punjab elections and urged the prime minister and the federal cabinet not to implement it.

“That a bare perusal of the afore-reproduced orders confirms the august court’s grip on the current state of affairs being, arbitrarily, illegally, unconstitutionally, deliberately, craftily and undemocratically perpetrated by the ruling coalition in the country to avoid the execution of general election to the two provincial assemblies i.e., Punjab and KPK, on 14-5-2023,” the petitioners contended.