Friday October 15, 2021

Ordinance to fix oath-taking time for MPs challenged in LHC

Ordinance to fix oath-taking time for MPs challenged in LHC

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday issued notices to the federal government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on a petition challenging an ordinance that made it mandatory for elected representatives to take oath within 60 days after the poll to avoid disqualification.

Farid Adil, a lawyer by profession, filed the petition pleading that president unconstitutionally promulgated the impugned ordinance to amend the Election Act 2017 and set a time limit for taking oath by the parliamentarians-elect. The petitioner argued that the Constitution did not provide any limit and the introducing such restriction through an ordinance was against the basic spirit of the Constitution.

He asked the court to set aside the impugned ordinance and the amendment made in the Election Act for being unconstitutional. He also asked the court to suspend the operations of the ordinance till the final decision of the petition.

Justice Jawad Hassan observed that apparently the federal legislative list gave no power to the federal government to fix the time period for oath-taking of a member of an assembly. The judge also remarked that legislation through ordinances in the presence of the assemblies was unreasonable. The judge said questions raised in the petition were serious and needed consideration. The judge sought replies from the respondents within a fortnight.