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SC issues notices over Presidential reference on Senate election

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday sent notices to concerned parties while hearing a presidential reference on the Senate elections, ARY News reported.

A five-judge larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi, heard the reference.

“If secondary legislation can make a clause of the constitution ineffective,” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan questioned. “If the court opinion on reference will be negative, elections will be held as per the existing procedure,” Attorney General Khalid Javed replied.

“The constitution only rules for elections, it is the parliament that further legislate,” AG further said. “An example of the secondary lawmaking is local government elections,” he said.

“The local councils elections was not described in constitution, so as the assemblies legislated for it,” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said.

The bench issued notices to Advocate Generals, the Election Commission of Pakistan, Chairman Senate, Speaker National Assembly and the Speakers of provincial assemblies.

The court adjourned further hearing of the reference until January 11.

The federal government has filed the reference in the Supreme Court under Article 186 of the Constitution seeking its opinion about holding the upcoming Senate polls through open ballot.

The government has sought opinion of the court if the issue can be decided without amending the constitution and introducing amendment in section 122 (vi) of the Election Act 2017.

The federal cabinet in its December 15 session had decided to seek the opinion of the SC over the matter.

Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan while talking to the media earlier had said that the government will seek the interpretation of Article 226 of the Constitution.

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