ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered for the presidential election to be held on July 30, following the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that it would not give a new date for the polls.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also instructed Director General (DG) of the election commission to execute the court’s order and to complete the scrutiny process by tomorrow.
Earlier, the ECP announced that it was leaving the matter in the hands of the SC.
The commission’s view came after the SC gave it until 11 am to convey its stance on an application submitted by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) seeking to hold the upcoming presidential election before the announced date of Aug 6.
Haq had submitted his petition in the SC after the ECP had turned down a request made by the federal government to change the date for presidential election, saying that polls would be held on Aug 6 as announced.
Earlier, a three-member of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar, heard Zafarul Haq’s petition.
The PML-N senator, in his request, asked the apex court not to hold the presidential election during the last Ashra (ten days) of Ramazan.
He further gave the reference of various reports published in the media, according to which more than a hundred lawmakers would not be available on Aug 6 to participate in the presidential election, as they would be engaged in Aitekaf, Umrah and other religious duties.
Haq’s petition sought to hold the presidential election on July 30.
During the hearing, Attorney General Munir A. Malik informed the court that the federal government supported Haq’s petition. Moreover, he said it was the constitutional right of every member of the Parliament to vote in the presidential polls.
Chief Justice Iftikhar asked as to what would be the constitutional barriers in preponing the election, adding that the participation of every parliamentarian in the polls would permit constitutional requirements to be better fulfilled.
He remarked that the ECP should consider holding the election on the date requested by Haq.