On Friday, representatives of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP), Mansoor Awan, as well as the Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), informed the Supreme Court (SC) of the government’s failure to distribute Rs21 billion in funds for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The briefing, which lasted for more than an hour and was held in the chamber of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, was attended by Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar.
On April 4, the highest court, composed of Justices Ahsan and Akhtar, handed down their verdict, directing the ECP to submit a report to the court on April 11 regarding whether or not the government had complied with the order to provide the ECP with Rs21 billion in order to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a one-page report, the ECP informed the court earlier this week of the government’s reluctance to issue the necessary amount for elections.
In the interim, the public authority had mentioned giving the choice to Parliament. Defying the SC’s directive, the parliament had refused to distribute election funds a day earlier.
The top court then sent notices to the finance secretary, SBP governor, AGP Awan, and ECP, requiring them to appear in the judges’ chamber on April 14.
In addition, it had instructed the SBP to submit information and records regarding any and all federal government funds in the bank’s custody, management, or control.
All of the officials who had been summoned showed up for the hearing today, which started at 11 a.m.
In a two-page document submitted to the court on behalf of the government, the AGP stated the position of the federal coalition on the subject.
Awan expressed in the archive, which Dawn.com has seen, that the parliament’s endorsement was expected for the arrival of assets from the Bureaucratic Merged Assets, which incorporate all central government incomes, credits, and assets got for advance reimbursement.
It was mentioned that the public authority had presented a bill to parliament in this manner to inquire about the arrival of assets, but it was rejected.
Additionally, the document stated that the government could not request the SBP to release the funds despite having fulfilled its legal obligations.
Separately, ECP Secretary Umar Hameed disclosed that he presented the commission’s position to the judges regarding the release of the funds and told reporters outside the SC that the hearing was held in a “pleasant atmosphere.”
“We also talked about the census underway across the country,” he continued, noting that the demarcation of constituencies took four to five months after the census was finished.
“We are now waiting for the court to issue its order,” Hameed continued.
Bill to raise money for elections rejected by Parliament Yesterday, the National Assembly rejected a money bill the government had proposed to raise money for elections in KP and Punjab, possibly for the first time in the country’s parliamentary history.
After Money Priest Ishaq Dar informed the house that the standing board of trustees had instructed not to support the bill he presented on April 10, the house dismissed the Charged Totals for General Political race (Commonplace Gatherings of the Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) Bill 2023 with a majority vote.
According to the bill, “an expenditure charged upon the Federal Consolidated Fund (FCF),” which includes all funds received by the federal government for loans, revenues, and loan repayments, must be used to fund elections in both provinces.
At the point when it happened, the bill expressed that it would “supersede different regulations” and be active “despite anything contained in some other regulation, rules, or guidelines.”
In addition, it was mentioned that general elections as well as elections to the assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan do not need to be held in order for the proposed law to be repealed once elections are held for both assemblies.
The Supreme Court warned that the federal government’s failure to comply with the April 4 directive regarding the release of funds for elections could have consequences when it summoned the AGP and other officials to the CJP’s chambers earlier this week.
“The consequences that can flow from such prima facie defiance of the court are well settled and known,” the statement reads.
The court demand said that every person who sets out upon, enables or instigates defiance or rebellion of the court can be anticipated to assume liability and capable.
The request stated that the holding of general decisions promptly as mandated by the Constitution might be put in danger once more as a result of the current uprising. It also stated that the investigation into the arrangement of assets for such a significant sacred object is something that requires quick consideration and prioritizes immediate action over continuing litigation against those who may have disregarded the court.