- SC gives govt Dec 8 deadline for CEC appointment while AG says matter will be resolved till Dec 5
While a federal minister Tuesday failed to convince Justice (r) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani for the slot of chief election commissioner (CEC), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah have shortlisted four names for the vacant seat.
The shortlisted candidates are Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Justice (r) MianShakirullah Jan, Justice (r) Tariq Parvez Khan and Justice (r) Mian Muhammad Ajmal. These names now will be forwarded to the parliamentary committee.
Sources said that the premier, who left for London on Tuesday to attend a conference on Afghanistan, will be in contact with Shah over the phone in this regard.
Earlier, the government had decided to again convince Justice (r) Jillani to reconsider accepting the nomination which he had earlier rejected; however, the concerned federal minister failed to persuade the former CJP into accepting the offer.
According to sources, Justice (r) Jillani’s refusal is not only attributable to the public pressure by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) but also the judiciary’s apprehensions on having a former senior judge repeatedly appear in court as a respondent on Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s behalf in several cases.
Names of Justice (r) Jillani and Justice (r) Rana Bhagwandas were excluded from the list after both rejected the nomination, while PTI’s nominee Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid’s name was also dropped.
In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) has made it clear that it will consider issuing contempt of court notices to the prime minister and the opposition leader if they fail to appoint a new CEC till December 8.
As a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Nasirul Mulk heard the case Tuesday, Attorney General Salman Butt told the apex court that PM Sharif and Shah held a meeting Monday on the matter and a lot of progress has been made on appointment of the CEC. He expressed hope that the matter will be resolved till December 5.
The office of the CEC fell vacant after the resignation of Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim on July 30, 2013. The Supreme Court also made it clear a couple of days ago that it will withdraw its judge Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who is currently working as acting CEC, on December 5.