SC sets aside LHC decision on election code of conduct

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The Supreme Court (SC) set aside two decisions of the Lahore High Court (LHC) with reference to election code of conduct on Tuesday and referred the matter to the LHC directing it to decide the matter within 30 days.

The decision was pronounced by a 3-member bench of the SC presided over by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar after hearing the petition filed by the election commission (EC) against the decision of Lahore high court.

The court remarked that it was must to issue notice to the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) in legal and constitutional matters. No notice was issued to the AGP in the matter of election code of conduct, therefore, the high court’s decision could not be maintained being not in conformity to law, the SC observed.

Ibrahim Satti, counsel for the election commission, took the plea the high court gave the decision without issuing notice to the AGP and stopped the implementation of elections code of conduct. The EC had issued code of conduct first on April 16 and then on May 7, he said. Through this code of conduct, the ministers were earlier barred from taking part in the campaign of candidates in by polls and later members of parliament were also stopped from campaigning. But the high court gave decision against it, he said, praying that the same be declared null and void.

The PTI had approached the high court and decision was given in its favour and both the notifications issued by the election commission were cancelled.

“How can the high court give decision on any legal and constitution matter without giving notice to the AGP? Therefore, both the decisions of high court are set aside. The high court should decide the case within 30 days. The local bodies polls are near and there must be no hurdle in this respect,” the SC observed.