Pak SC suspends election of 28 lawmakers

Last Updated: Monday, February 6, 2012 - 17:35

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court on Monday
suspended 28 lawmakers, including three ministers, elected
under an incomplete Election Commission, reflecting the
continuing tensions between the government and the judiciary.

The verdict affected three federal ministers belonging to
the ruling Pakistan People`s Party and an ally - Finance
Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Petroleum Minister Asim
Hussain (both members of the Senate or upper house of
parliament) and Minister for Narcotics Control Khuda Bux Rajar
(a member of the National Assembly or lower house of
parliament).

A four-judge bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
issued the order while hearing a petition filed by Pakistan
Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, who had asked the court to
declare as invalid by-polls that were held with electoral
rolls containing bogus voters.

During the hearing of the petition, it emerged that 28
by-elections to parliament and provincial assemblies were held
under an Election Commission that was incomplete due to
non-appointment of some members.

The court gave the government time till February 6 to give
legal cover to these by-polls.

The government introduced the 20th constitutional
amendment in parliament to legitimise the by-polls but it
could not be passed due to differences with opposition
parties. The government is engaged in hectic consultations
with opposition parties, particularly the PML-N, to pass the
amendment.

In its order, the apex court said the 28 members of
parliament and provincial assemblies will remain suspended
until the 20th constitutional amendment is passed to
legitimise their election.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 6, 2012 - 17:35
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