ISLAMABAD, /DNA/ – Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial
Wednesday took suo motu notice of the delay in elections in Punjab and/D
CJP has formed a nine-member larger bench for the hearing tomorrow.
CJP Bandial will head the larger bench that also includes Justice Ijazul
Ahsan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya
Afridi, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel,
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Manullah.
The questions referred for the consideration of the Hon’ble Bench if so
deemed appropriate are, inter alia, as follows:
a) Who has the constitutional responsibility and authority for
appointing the date for the holding of a general election to a
Provincial Assembly, upon its dissolution in the various situations
envisaged by and under the Constitution?
b) How and when is this constitutional responsibility to be discharged?
c) What are the constitutional responsibilities and duties of the
Federation and the Province with regard to the holding of the general
CJP directed to register an appropriate Suo Motu Case in the above terms
and fix the same along with the petitions pending in
the Court and fix the same before the Hon’ble Bench on 23.02.2023 at
The apex court’s suo moto notice came after Punjab and KP governors
refused to set the date for elections while the Election Commission of
Pakistan also failed to reach a decision. President of Pakistan Dr Arif
Alvi has used his constitutional right under Article 57-1 of the
Election Act 2017 to set April 9 as the date for holding the general
However, the ECP is still pondering whether to accept the presidential
decree or not and had sought legal opinion from the Advocate General of
Pakistan. AGP also gave verbal opinion to the ECP suggesting that after
the passage of the 18th amendment, the power to announce the date for
elections in the provinces lies with governors instead of the president.