"Not Responsible For Election Date," Punjab Governor Tells LHC


The ECP has told the court that it is responsible for conducting elections but it is Governor who fixes the date.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Feb 9th, 2023) Punjab Governor Baligh ur Rehman Thursday informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) that he was not responsible for making announcing about election date in the province.

The Punjab Governor made this statement in his reply before the Lahore High Court in petitions files by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and a citizen Munir Ahmed seeking election date in Punjab.

The Governor said, It is emphatically denied that the answering respondent No 1 was in any manner obligated to appoint the date of elections when he has never dissolved the assembly while acting on the so-called advice of the chief minister,".

Governor Rehman also denied the allegations that he is "creating any hurdles in the way of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to discharge its duties" and termed these as "fallacious."

Governor Rehman asked the court to dismiss the PTI petition with a fine, submitting that he is discharging his duties as per law and the Constitution.

PTI counsel Ali Zafar, however, argued that the president could give the date if the ECP and governor failed to do so.

He submitted that the polls should be held before April 13, the only question was to fix a date.

A Federal law officer pointed out that what was next even if the ECP failed to implement the order even after the announcement of the election schedule. The law officer asked the court to form a larger bench to hear the case.

"What practical order you are expecting?," Justice Jawad asked the law officer.

The ECP, meanwhile, asked the court to give some time to submit reply, saying that conducting election was their responsibility but it was Governor who had to give the election date.

He submitted that the law was different for general elections. .

In response to an argument, the LHC judge said that Article 105 of the Constitution needs interpretation.

The counsel for the PTI pleased that ECP was responsible to give election date but if it failed then the President could fix a date.

At this, Justice Jawad observed that the president was not made party in the case.

The judge remarked that he would hear the case on February 13 and would announce the verdict.

The judge also issued directives to the ECP and governor's lawyers to submit responses by tomorrow and adjourned the hearing.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, who was there in the court, said that it would be a violation of the 90-day deadline set in the Constitution if a date is not announced within three days.

He asked the court to hear the case on Saturday , because the PDM was making huge efforts to delay the elections.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.