A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought an explanation from the Lahore High Court registrar for not issuing written orders regarding the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) code of conduct.
The ECP and the Punjab provincial election commissioner had filed a petition application on Tuesday against the LHC’s May 25 order.
The petition said the LHC, acting on the petition of a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader, had issued an oral order but had not produced a written copy of the order so far. The ECP, through its secretary and the provincial election commissioner, filed the petition for leave under Article 185 (3) of the Constitution.
The commission stated that the issuance of the code of conduct for by-elections in several constituencies and for local government election had been delayed due to the verbal order of the high court.
The ECP had issued a notification on May 7 for by-election in PP-106 (Multan-VI), NA-108 (Mandi Bahuddin-I), and PK-56 (Mansehra-VI), barring certain public officials from taking part in the election campaign.
The ECP said PTI’s Mansoor Sarwar Khan had filed the petition in the LHC, and the court had issued an oral order on May 25 but had not provided a copy of the order.
The commission said it had applied for a certified copy of the order on the same day of the ruling. The ECP said that being a respondent in the petition, the commission should have been provided a copy.
The ECP said that it was not possible to implement an oral order. Further, it said, the verbal order was not binding under law. The procedure for announcing a judgment is mentioned in Order XX Rule 3 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC). The ECP said the LHC had not complied with the procedure.
The LHC had set aside the notification issued by the ECP on May 7 issued under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution, the ECP said.
The SC issued a notice to the LHC registrar and adjourned the hearing for a week.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.