Judicial policy bars judiciary's role in polls: CJ Iftikhar
23 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Monday that the National Judicial Policy (NJP) put a bar on the district judiciary to be involved in the election process as it distracted the judicial officers from professional duty and complaints of corrupt practices tarnished the image of the judiciary.
He said this while responding to the chief election commissioner's (CEC) request to allow the involvement of the district judiciary in the forthcoming general elections. The CEC, Justice (retd) Fakhrruddin G Ebrahim, extended this request during a meeting with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in the Supreme Court on Monday.
The CEC briefed the chief justice that there was a broad consensus amongst the civil society, political parties and the media for enhancing the credibility of the election process and the District and Sessions Judges might be appointed as District Returning Officers in the forthcoming general elections.
According to the Supreme Court press release, the meeting was held in pursuance of a written request made earlier by the commission to the Chief Justice of Pakistan for holding the next general elections under the supervision of the judiciary.
During the meeting, Justice (retd) Riaz Kiyani and Justice (retd) Shahzad Akbar Khan, members of the Election Commission of Pakistan, were also present.
The CJP assured him that his request and sentiments of the civil society would be placed before the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee for sympathetic consideration in national interest in its meeting to be held on November 3, 2012.
The chief justice also stated that the committee would also consider a possible role of judges of the superior judiciary to supervise the district and assistant district returning officers to ensure a transparent role of the district judiciary in the elections.