ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday issued notices to the respondents in a petition of PML-N MNA Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha challenging the newly promulgated Elections (Second Amendment) Ordinance about electronic voting in elections.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition moved by Ranjha through his counsel Umer Gilani Advocate.
During the hearing, Justice Aamer asked from the counsel that whether his client has objection over the use of electronic machines in the elections. At this, Gilani the counsel for the petitioner, made it clear that they have no objection over the use of electronic machines in the elections but they have objections over the process of government which it had used by issuing the ordinance for this purpose.
After hearing the preliminary arguments, the IHC bench issued notices to the respondents including federation of Pakistan and Secretary Law and Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents. The court also issued notices to assist the court in this matter and deferred the proceedings.
Then, Justice Aamer directed to club this petition with the other petitions challenging the issuance of the ordinance and sent the matter to the Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah to fix the matter before a bench.
In the petition, Ranjha stated that President of Pakistan has promulgated Elections (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and even though this Ordinance is only a one-pager, it makes important legislative overhauls of the electoral procedure regime in Pakistan.
He contended that in effect the Ordinance has made EVMs compulsory instead of being optional and has eliminated the role of Parliament and piloting in this decision.
Therefore, he prayed to the court to declare that the impugned Ordinance is illegal, unconstitutional being ultra vires of Article 89 of the Constitution and having been promulgated in a mala fide manner.