Lahore: A Pakistani court Tuesday admitted for regular hearing the Punjab government`s petition seeking postponement of crucial by-elections due to security concerns and issued notice to the Chief Election Commission.
Justice Mian Saqib of the Lahore High Court issued notice to the Chief Election Commission and scheduled the petition for hearing on October 2.
While refusing to issue a stay order, the judge remarked that the Punjab government`s function was not to hold elections.
"The Election Commission is there for this purpose," he said. The judge further remarked that the people of certain constituencies could not be deprived of electing their representatives to the provincial and national assemblies.
The by-elections to four provincial and national assembly seats are scheduled for November 7.
Former premier Nawaz Sharif, whose PML-N party rules Punjab, is among those planning to contest the polls to gain entry to the parliament.
The PML-N is facing severe criticism for approaching the court to defer the polls. A majority of the party leadership has also expressed surprise at the move.
Awami Party chief Shiekh Rashid Ahmed, who also plans to contest the bye-polls, said the move had exposed the so-called "democratic" party and its leadership.
The Punjab government, in its petition, said the law and order situation was not conducive to holding the bye-polls. It said the Chief Election Commissioner too had not
consulted the government about holding the polls.