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Punjab polls: SC summons finance secretary, AGP over non-provision of funds

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday issued notices to the finance secretary, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the non-implementation of its order passed on April 4 to disburse funds for Punjab and KP elections.

On April 4, the Supreme Court set April 10 as the deadline for the government to disburse Rs21 billion in funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and told the ECP to report back to it on April 11.

The government meanwhile, has referred the matter to Parliament to decide.

In a notice issued by the SC registrar today, the apex court issued notices to the SBP governor, finance secretary, AGP and directed them to appear before the chamber of the judges on Friday, April 14 at 11am.

Read more: Funds for elections still not received, ECP tells court

It also directed them to bring the record and details of money owned by the federal government.

The top court noted that the report submitted by the election commission yesterday stated that “no funds have at all been released and provided to it as required by the order of the Supreme Court”.

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“The failure of the federal government to comply with the order of the court as aforesaid is prima facie disobedience,” it observed.

On April 4, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsen and Justice Munib Akhtar, had declared ECP order passed on March 22, 2023, postponing the election in Punjab till October 8 as unconstitutional and fixed May 14, the date for polls in the province.

after the SC verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan announced the schedule for elections in Punjab — which are to be held on May 14.

According to the electoral watchdog (ECP) notification, the polling for the Punjab Assembly elections will be held on May 14, 2023. The ECP also withdrew its earlier schedule regarding the holding of general elections in Punjab in October.

As per the schedule, appeals can be filed against the decisions of Returning Officers regarding rejection or accepting nomination papers on April 10.

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