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Pakistan SC rules against raising objections to delimitations of electoral boundaries post release of election schedule – Times of India

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s supreme court on Monday ruled against raising any objections to the delimitation of electoral boundaries after the issuance of the election schedule, removing further impediments in the path of the February 8 polls.
The schedule for Pakistan’s general elections was issued on Friday night by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after the intervention of the apex court.
A three-member bench of the top court, headed by interim chief justice Sardar Tariq, took up an appeal filed by the ECP against the Balochistan high court’s (BHC) decision to change the delimitations carried out by the polls organising body.
The decision was announced on the ECP’s appeal against the delimitation of two constituencies in Zhob and Shirani in Balochistan province. The SC also nullified the BHC’s decision on delimitation.
The changes were made in two constituencies in Balochistan by the BHC and the ECP moved to the apex court to scrap the changes.
The bench after hearing arguments set aside the BHC’s order on Monday and accepted the ECP’s appeal.
“Challenges to constituencies have all been rendered ineffective after the release of the election schedule,” Justice Shah remarked.
Asserting that the electoral process could not be affected to provide relief to an individual, the court declared the high court decision null and void.
The move by the supreme court comes two days after it shot down an effort by the Lahore high court to disrupt the election process by suspending appointments of returning officers and district returning officers from bureaucracy.
Elections are set to be held on February 8 next year and the ECP on Friday issued a detailed schedule. Earlier the delimitation process was completed on November 30.
After fresh delimitation, the national assembly (NA) would consist of 336 seats, including 266 general seats, 60 seats reserved for women, and 10 for non-Muslims.
The delimitation shows that the strength of the assembly has decreased by six seats from the previously 342 seats.



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