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Saturday, June 1, 2024

SC bench dissolved again as Justice Mandokhail bows out in poll delay case

Hours before the hearing was set to resume at the Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Jamal Mandokhail recused himself from the case and remarked that he believed he was a “misfit” in the four-member bench.

In a major development, the Supreme Court (SC) bench has been dissolved once again as Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail distanced himself from the bench hearing the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa election delay case, calling himself a “misfit”.

According to the details, hours before the hearing was set to resume at the Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Jamal Mandokhail recused himself from the case and remarked that he believed he was a “misfit” in the four-member bench.

“I believe I am a misfit on the bench. I pray whichever bench is formed in this case gives a verdict that is acceptable to everyone,” said Justice Mandokhail. He prayed for his institution, adding that he and his fellow judges were bound to follow the constitution.

To clarify, the Supreme Court is currently hearing PTI’s petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to delay polls in the Punjab Assembly.

The original bench hearing the case included Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, and Justice Aminuddin Khan.

Read more: Nation demands right to vote from CJP after election postponement

Yesterday, Justice Aminuddin Khan withdrew himself from the bench saying that he was a signatory to an order issued by a different bench, proposing the postponement of all cases instituted under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

As a result, on Friday morning, a new bench was formed which retained the four judges, excluding Justice Khan. However, as soon as the proceeding began, Justice Mandokhail announced his withdrawal from the bench, saying that despite being a member of the bench, he wasn’t consulted regarding the formation of the new bench.

 

CJP Bandial then said that whatever decision is taken regarding the new bench, it will be announced in court. Later, the court staff announced that the hearing will commence at 2 pm after Friday prayers.

The apparent difference among the Supreme Court judges has triggered a controversy in Pakistan. Concerns are increasing that the split among the judges is threatening the Constitution.

Read more: CJP offers to fund elections from judges’ salaries