ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court against the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) directive that halted the training of district returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs), impacting the electoral process.
In its appeal, the election commission has asked the highest court to invalidate the LHC’s ruling and ensure compliance with its instruction to conduct polls on February 8.
A three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, alongside Justices Sardar Tariq and Mansoor Ali Shah, is scheduled to review the appeal.
Even after the court’s staff concluded their day, they returned to open Court Room No. 1 upon the electoral body’s decision to challenge the LHC’s order.
The LHC’s ruling complicated matters for the scheduled February 8, 2024 general elections by suspending the electoral body’s notification involving ROs and DROs from the bureaucracy.
To ensure timely elections, the election commission filed an appeal in the SC, with major political parties such as the Pakistan Peoples Party, Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Balochistan Awami Party, and Awami National Party joining as parties in the case.
The ECP opted to file the appeal following discussions between Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa regarding the potential repercussions of the decision.
The court is expected to decide on ensuring the enforcement of the 54-day minimum period, from the announcement of scheduled elections to their conduct, either today or tomorrow. This decision is crucial as the ECP must announce the poll schedule by December 17 to hold elections on the specified date, according to sources.