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SC summons Finance, ECP Secys, SBP, AGP in Punjab polls case

ISLAMABAD, Apr 12 (DNA): The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday issued
notices to the finance secretary, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
governor, the Attorney General of Pakistan and the Election Commission
of Pakistan secretary over the government’s failure to disburse Rs21
billion in funds for polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The top court instructed the officials to appear in the judges’ chamber
on April 14.  Reportedly, the court was told yesterday that the required
funds were not received for the Punjab polls.

In its April 4 verdict, the SC had ordered the government to provide the
funds to the ECP to conduct elections by April 10 and directed the ECP
to submit a report to the court on April 11.

As per the SC registrar, the court noted that the report submitted by
the ECP yesterday stated no funds have been released and provided to it
as required by the order of the court.

The court adds: “The failure of the federal government to comply with
the order of the court as aforesaid is prima facie disobedience.

“The consequences that can flow from such prima facie defiance of the
court are well settled and known. “Every person who embarks upon,
encourages or instigates disobedience or defiance of the court can be
held liable and accountable,” the notice pointed out.

“Disobedience by the federal government would put the conduct of timely
elections as mandated by the Constitution in jeopardy.

“The question of the provision of funds for such a vital constitutional
purpose is something that requires immediate attention which takes
priority over proceeding against those who may have committed contempt
of the court,”

Subsequently, the court issued a notice to the SBP governor and the next
senior most official of the bank and directed them to appear before the
chamber of the judges on Friday, April 14, at 11 am. It directed them to
bring the record and details of money owned by the federal government
lying with or under the control, custody or management of the central
bank.

The court also issued notices to the AGP, the finance secretary and the
“next most senior official” in the Finance Ministry for an in-person
appearance the same day.






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