The SC bench formed to hear PTI’s plea against the postponement of Punjab elections does not include key judges, which raises questions on its impartiality, says senior journalist Asad Ali Toor.
The case is being heard by a larger bench — led by CJP Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz-ul- Ahsan, Justice Akhtar, Justice Aminuddin Khan, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.
In a podcast on Tuesday, the journalist discussed the bench hearing the plea regarding Punjab elections.
“The first of the reservations expressed by lawyers is the constitution of bench on an issue which the SC has already decided,” he said.
Toor said that Judge Jamal Khan Mandokhail had questioned the lack of signatures on the annexed copy of the previous verdict that the PTI wants implemented.
According to him, the registrar was supposed to point it out, but he didn’t. He added that the official has earlier served as the deputy to the pro-Imran principal secretary when he was in power.
He said that almost all political parties have questioned the credibility of some judges in the bench, then why does the CJP not form a large bench.
Doing so would’ve reinforced it from an ethical standpoint and increased its legitimacy, Toor maintained.
He pointed at the confessional video of Muhammad Khan Bhatti, a close aide of the former Punjab CM Parvez Elahi, wherein he said that Justice Akhtar “gets managed” to extend favours to the PTI.
Also, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan was the monitoring judge of the accountability court that heard the Panama case.
On the other hand, Mansoor Ali Shah, who had questioned the dissolution of provincial assemblies, was excluded from the bench, he added.
Concluding, Toor asked if the CJP doesn’t have faith in his own team with regard to the partiality of the decisions.
Earlier today, SC observed that ECP decisions are becoming an obstruction in the way of its orders, as it heard the case related to the Punjab elections delay.
The court issued notices to the electoral authority, federal government, and governor KP and adjourned the hearing till tomorrow (Tuesday).
On March 22, ECP announced to postpone Punjab elections scheduled for April 30, and said the polls will now be held in the province on October 8.