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Monday July 22, 2024

LHC CJ constitutes 8 election tribunals

The court noted that the ECP should issue the notification regarding the appointments within one week

By APP & News Desk
June 13, 2024
Lahore High Court building can be seen in this picture. — APP/File
Lahore High Court building can be seen in this picture. — APP/File

LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan on Wednesday constituted eight election tribunals for hearing election petitions regarding national and provincial assembly constituencies for the general election 2024 in Punjab, in the light of the single bench’s decision. According to a notification issued by LHC Registrar Chaudhry Abid Rashid Abid, Justice Shahid Karim, Justice Ch Muhammad Iqbal, Justice Anwaar Hussain, and Justice Sultan Tanvir Ahmad would hear the election petitions at the LHC principal seat in Lahore. Justice Asim Hafeez will hear the election petitions at the LHC Bahawalpur bench, Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar and Justice Raheel Kamran will hear the election petitions at the LHC Multan bench, and Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf will hear the election petitions at the LHC Rawalpindi bench, it added.

On May 29, 2024, an LHC single bench had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint six more judges, nominated by the LHC chief justice, as election tribunals for hearing election petitions regarding the general elections of 2024. The court noted that the ECP should issue the notification regarding the appointments within one week, and if the ECP failed to do so, then it should be deemed to have been issued. The LHC office should proceed ahead on the dictum laid down and place the matter before the LHC chief justice for assigning areas to election tribunals, the court added.

The single bench comprising Justice Shahid Karim had passed the orders while allowing two identical petitions filed by independent candidates. It is pertinent to mention here that two out of the eight election tribunals were already working in Punjab.

According to sources, the ECP has decided challenge the LHC verdict in the Supreme Court, adding the decision violates the Election Act. The ECP sources said it is the ECP that has the power to establish Election Tribunals under the Election Act

According to the Election Act 2017, serving and retired judges could be part of the tribunal.

In 2023, the PDM government amended the law on PPP’s proposal that only a serving high court judge would be part of the tribunal in consultation with the relevant high court’s chief justice.