Supreme Court (SC) Judge Qazi Faez Isa on Thursday remarked that it seems democracy is no longer a priority in the country.”
According to the details, SC conducted the hearing of the local body election case. During the case proceedings, Justice Qazi Faez Isa while addressing to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan, said that, “It seems democracy is no longer a priority in the country.”
Justice Qazi Faez Isa questioned that why the people are being deprived of democracy?
Justice Qazi Faez Isa said that the order of the Supreme Court was being violated by not holding local body elections.
He asked whether the Chief Election Commissioner and the members do not remember their oath. Didn’t the Chief Election Commissioner read the constitution?
“It seems Election Commission is taking directions from somewhere else not from the Constitution,” remarked the top court Judge.
During the hearing, he said that if the Attorney General is with the Prime Minister, then tell him that the Constitution is more important. Asked by the Honorable Judge, the Attorney General said that democracy is the first priority.
The judge told the ECP representative that the court had ordered local body elections in Sindh.
Did you inform the government about the local elections? Has the issue of local body elections been brought before the Cabinet?
“There was no need to put the matter before the Cabinet,” replied the Attorney General.
The court inquired whether it was legal for the provincial government to dissolve the local bodies.
The Chief Election Commissioner replied to the court that the Punjab government’s move was illegal.
The court asked what action was taken against the Punjab government for taking unconstitutional action. The Chief Election Commissioner said that the Punjab government has enacted a new local body law.
The SC Judge asked the Chief Election Commissioner to state clearly if he could not implement the constitution. Justice Qazi Faiz Issa also slammed the Chief Election Commissioner for calling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KP.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa said you are a constitutional official, why don’t you name the province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa? You have taken an oath under the constitution.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa said that, “Nothing happened after the last election in the country in 2018. To my knowledge, the Election Commission seems to be sitting idle. If you want to amend the constitution, do it, Parliament is equal to us.”
“The Election Commission is a constitutional body like ours. You are an independent and sovereign body. Show your presence. If someone prevents you from implementing the constitution, take action on it.” Said the Judge.
During the hearing, the Chief Election Commissioner said that despite the instructions of the NCOC, we held by-elections.
To which, Justice Qazi Faez Isa asked what is NCOC, under what law is that institution formed? Are you subordinate to this institution or is it subordinate to you?
The court was told that the NCOC was constituted by an executive order. The judge said it was unfortunate that this was the level of members of a constitutional body.
The Court while ordering the Election Commission of Pakistan to fix dates for the local body polls within a week, adjourned the hearing of the case.