Senate polls: SC to announce opinion on presidential reference on Monday

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Islamabad (Web Desk): The Supreme Court will announce its opinion regarding presidential reference to hold upcoming Senate elections on open ballot on March 1 (Monday).

The opinion will be announced in the open court by a five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi at 9am on Monday.

Earlier, the CJP observed that it is Parliament’s prerogative to decide whether or not to use secret balloting in the Senate polls.

The CJP said, “It is the parliament that will decide whether or not the voting should be secret; we will not take over the parliament's right.” He maintained that the court will not issue an opinion on the promulgation of the ordinance.

The CJP said the court had three questions.

Is Article 226 applicable to the Senate elections or not?

Can proportional representation be done through single transferable vote?

Are elections conducted according to the Constitution secret?

The chief justice said that the apex court will only respond to the questions asked in the presidential reference on the matter.

The case was adjourned till Thursday, February 25. “We will individually listen to all those who are party to the case tomorrow,” the chief justice said.