–Ruling party says it wasn’t given fair chance to present its case in court
–ISI says observations in sit-in case could have adverse affect on morale of armed forces
ISLAMABAD: A day after the country’s premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) filed review petitions in the apex court against its ruling in the 2017 Faizabad sit-in case, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) too has pleaded the court to get its name expunged from the court’s observations.
According to the petition, PTI has argued that it was not given a fair chance to present its case in the court, therefore, the court’s observations against the party in its verdict must be expunged.
Earlier, PTI had also filed a petition, alleging misconduct by Justice Qazi Faez Isa but the petition was rejected by the registrar’s office.
On April 15, ISI challenged the court’s verdict in the said case, contending that its observations could have an adverse impact on the morale of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The Supreme Court (SC), in its verdict, had directed the intelligence agencies, including ISI, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Military Intelligence (MI), and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) to not exceed their constitutional mandates.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also filed a petition in the apex court seeking review of its February 6 verdict. The commission said that SC’s observations with regard to the electoral body will have an adverse impact on its performance. “If the observations are maintained, they will have an impact in the long run,” it said.
ECP said that it acted against the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) as per law, which is evident from its record. On August 16, 2017, TLP was served a notice to submit details of its accounts with a warning that upon failure, its registration will be revoked, it added.
The verdict’s Para No 4 negated measures taken by the commission, it said, requesting the apex court to expunge observations against ECP from the verdict.
The top court in its verdict had observed that Article 17(3) of the Constitution demands political parties to account for the source of their funds and Section 211 of the Elections Act, 2017 calls of the provision of details of election expenses to ECP.
However, the court said that TLP did not account for its funds and election expenses according to ECP. The electoral body surprisingly showed helplessness to act against the party because the law according to it is cosmetic in nature.
The bench said that ECP should not disabuse itself that constitutional and legal provisions are cosmetic as the responsibility placed on ECP by the Constitution and the law must be fulfilled. The Constitution also empowers ECP to get requisite information from any executive authority.
So far, seven review petitions have reportedly been filed against the February 6 ruling. Under the SC Rules 1980, an aggrieved party can move review petition within 30 days but in this case, the SC registrar extended the time till April 18 for the parties to file their reviews.