On 4th April the Pakistan Supreme Court boldly passed an order fixing 14th May as the date for holding elections to the Punjab Assembly,
However, thereafter an application was filled by the Defence Ministry for changing the date, citing security and financial reasons, and praying that elections should be held simultaneously for the National and Provincial Assemblies.
This application, which was heard yesterday, 19th April, should have been dismissed in 5 minutes by the Court, as it was clearly frivolous and specious, but instead it was unnecessarily heard the whole day, during which the Court behaved like a village panchayat, mediation centre, or a jirga ( as in Afghanistan ) and delivered homilies and lectures, advising the political parties to sit together and try to come to an agreement about the date for the elections.
After its boldness shown on 4th April, this pusillanimous behaviour of the Court was deeply disappointing.
The Court should have simply asked the Attorney General whether the PDM Govt will comply with the order of the Court of 4th April and release the funds for the elections, and on receiving no clear cut, or an evasive reply, as it happened, should have sacked the Govt, relying on the precedent of the dismissal by the Court of former PM Yusuf Raza Gilani for contempt of Court.
Instead, the Court blew hot and cold together, by on the one hand hand saying that it cannot backtrack on its order fixing 14th May for the elections, and at the same time saying that the date can be changed if there is consensus among the political parties.
But how can they say this ? Can the Court say that the Constitution must be followed,but it need not be followed if the parties agree ? That would be ex facie legally untenable and unacceptable.
The case was adjourned for today, 20th April, but it is obvious this is just a waste of time.
The PMLN has announced it will boycott the polls if held on 14th May
Political parties have started arriving in the Court
So another drama will be enacted in Court today.
It seems the wind has gone out of the sails of the judges on the bench, who have lost their nerve, and now they are trying to wriggle out somehow from their earlier bold and correct stand.
There is a proverb :’
‘ Jisko samjha tha khameera woh bhasaaku nikla ”
I regret to say this, but this aptly describes the judges on the bench hearing the case.