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SC issues written order into presidential reference on Senate elections

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday issued a written order regarding a reference sent to the apex court by President Arif Alvi on Senate elections, ARY NEWS reported.

The president sent the reference to seek an opinion from the apex court under article 188 of the constitution.

Seeking an opinion about holding the upcoming Senate polls through open ballot, the government has sought the opinion of the court if the issue can be decided without amending the constitution and introducing an amendment in section 122 (vi) of the Election Act 2017.

The SC in its written order has issued notices to advocate generals, chairman Senate, speakers of the national and provincial assemblies and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A public notice on the hearing of the reference would also be issued, the written order read while further directing all respondents to submit their replies in written before the apex court.

The top court further asked any other stakeholder who wanted to become part of the proceedings to submit their written recommendations to them within two weeks.

The Supreme Court further set January 11 as the date of the next hearing for the reference.

It is pertinent to mention here that 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 on January 04.

Read More: SC issues notices over Presidential reference on Senate election

“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.

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