September 24, 2023

‘No reason to interfere’: IHC bins PML-N plea against oath-taking limit


Staff Reporter – ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the presidential ordinance that set a deadline of 60 days for elected members to take the oath.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition after hearing arguments from the petitioner’s lawyer.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) filed the petition assailing the Elections (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 that requires elected members to take the oath within 60 days of commencement of the first sitting of their respective assembly.

“This Court expects that the Petitioner Party and all other political parties having representation, will endeavor to strengthen the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) by resolving the political disputes in accordance with the constitutional provisions and the principles of democracy,” read a nine-page verdict issued by the court after the hearing.

“This Court has been informed that the political party in power does not enjoy the majority in the upper House, Senate. Despite having majority, if the Petitioner Party and other opposition parties do not disapprove the Amendment Ordinance, 2021, then this Court has no reason to interfere and thus usurp the constitutional authority vested in the forums representing the people of Pakistan.”

The petitioner’s counsel stated before the court that the ordinance is based on mala fide intentions as it was promulgated to target one member of the opposition party.

The petitioner pleaded with the court to set aside the ordinance and restrain the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from de-notifying any elected member until this petition is decided.

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