Supreme Court suspends PHC’s verdict on Phase-II of KP LB polls
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The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday suspended the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision to postpone the second phase of local body (LB) elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and issued notices to the parties concerned, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A two-member bench of the apex court, consisting of Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Ayesha A. Malik, heard the appeal filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the high court’s verdict.
Speaking on the occasion, counsel for the ECP Afnan Kareem Kundi said that the Abbottabad bench of the PHC had given the verdict without listening to his client as the notice issued for the hearing on February 1 was received at the ECP’s office on the following day, on February 2. “And by the time the ECP received the notice, the PHC had already put off the second phase of the LBs polls in the province,” he regretted.
Justice Ayesha A. Malik remarked that the court ought to have listened to the election commission’s arguments before pronouncing the verdict. “Whether the weather conditions in KP could impede polling on March 27, the date proposed for the elections, has not been verified as yet,” she added.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, on the other hand, said that the ECP, and not the PHC, was supposed to listen to the weather report.
He asked why was the court in a hurry to give the decision?
The court then adjourned the hearing of the case until February 14 (Monday).
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) had on February 4 postponed the second phase of local bodies’ elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) that were originally scheduled to be held on March 27.
During the hearing, the court remarked that people faced problems in casting their votes due to heavy snowfall. “The respective district governments should announce a new schedule for the polls,” the judge had directed.
It is to be mentioned here that the representatives of Kohistan and Naran had filed a plea in the high court, requesting it to defer the polls because of severe weather conditions.
Reporter: Amanat Gishkori