Audio tapes defaming constitutional institutions had no importance: CJP Bandial

CJP says Supreme Court won't be influenced by criticism

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial on Wednesday observed that the audiotapes defaming the constitutional institutions had no importance.

He said they were demonstrating tolerance and ignoring the audiotapes, however, the Supreme Court was a constitutional institution and they would protect it. The apex court would definitely interfere if any dishonesty in the conduct of transparent elections were noticed, the chief justice remarked during the hearing of a case with regard to the transfer of former Capital City Police Officer Lahore Ghulam Mehmood Dogar. The three-judge SC bench headed by the CJP heard the case. Earlier during the course of proceedings, CJP Bandial observed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could use its powers under Article 218 for transfers and postings of the bureaucracy to ensure transparency in elections and there were past precedents that the interim governments used to transfer the officers with the permission of ECP.

The Commission itself could direct the interim government for transfer and posting of the officers, he said, adding all political parties should be given equal opportunity to participate in the elections. The ECP should not give full authority to the interim government for postings and transfers, he observed. To a courts query, the ECPs lawyer said the Commission had granted verbal permission to the Punjabs interim government for the transfer of Ghulam Mehmood Dogar on January 23. The interim government had adopted the policy of transfers and postings in bureaucracy to ensure fair elections with the ECPs approval, he added.

The lawyer adopted the stance that election schedule had been issued for provincial assemblies after installation of interim governments. It was the ECPs responsibility to conduct transparent elections under Article 218 of the constitution, he added. The court disposed of the case after the petitioner requested for the permission to withdraw the same.