Pakistan’s top court has accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of obstructing orders from the Supreme Court. The comments came during a hearing into a petition lodged by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which was challenging the ECP’s decision to delay the Punjab Assembly elections until 8 October due to fears over national security. Barrister SYed Ali Zafar argued during the hearing that “The Constitutional provision says 90 days and caretaker government and Election Commission have been made in accordance with this provision. The caretaker government’s job is to hold elections within this time period. It is impossible for the elections to be extended from a 90-day period to five months”. Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial responded that the ECP had delayed the polls under Article 244 of the Constitution, which states that a “failure to comply with requirement as to time does not render an act invalid”. The court has requested assurance from the parties involved that elections would be held in a fair and peaceful manner, and that the situation of the country improves before they are held.

Justice Akhtar notes that ECP’s decision is obstructing court orders and causing delay in polls.

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