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Tahirul Qadri moves SC for ECP's reconstitution

08 February, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on Thursday prayed the Supreme Court to declare appointment of Election Commission of Pakistan chief and four members null and void.

The constitutional petition maintained that the appointments were not in accordance with Article 213 and 218 of the constitution.

Dr Qadri also filed an application under Order XX Rule1 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980, requesting the court to restrain chief election commissioner and four members from working until final decision on the petition.

Dr Qadri filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution, making Federation of Pakistan through Ministry of Law and Justice, Election Commission of Pakistan through chief election commissioner, federal secretary law and parliamentary affairs and Parliamentary Committee of the National Assembly through its chairman as respondents.

The petitioner prayed the court to direct the federation to appoint the chief election commissioner (CEC) and all other members of the Election Commission of Pakistan immediately in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 213 2(a) of Article 213 and 218 (2)(a)(b) of the constitution so that the forthcoming election may not be delayed on any pretext and is conducted, fairly and in accordance with law.

He contended since the members of the Election Commission have not been appointed according to the procedure laid down by the constitution, their appointment is unconstitutional, invalid and void ab initio, adding that their assumption of office and continuance is unconstitutional and unlawful.

The petitioner submitted that clause 2A of Article 213 envisages a mandatory hearing by a parliamentary committee before confirmation of anyone to be appointed as chief election commissioner and members.

He contended that in order to invoke the relevant provisions of the constitution, it needs to be ascertained as to whether the parliamentary committee had called for hearing the nominees for the post of chief election commissioner as well as members of the Commission before recommendations of the confirmation. He said that record of the proceedings of the parliamentary committee should be procured for perusal in this regard.

The Article 213 (2A) requires the prime minister and leader of the opposition in National Assembly to forward three names for appointment as CEC to a parliamentary committee for hearing and confirmation. The Article 218 2(b) relates to the appointment of four members of the Commission, to be appointed by president in the manner provided for appointment of the commissioner in clause 2A and (2B) of Article 213.

The chief election commissioner and the members of the Commission could only be removed in the manner as of the judges of the Supreme Court given in Article 209 of the constitution.

Dr Qadri says such security of the term of office has been overridden in the removal of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah as Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irfan Qadir as NAB prosecutor general and Justice (r) Deedar Hussain Shah as NAB chairman, besides a large number of judges of superior courts who were removed for having taken oath on or after 3.11.2007 or appointed in consultation with Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

End.

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