EC cannot amend Constitution: Pak SC

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Islamabad, Sep 20: Pakistan Supreme Court has held that the Election Commission does not have the power to change basic rules, let alone provisions of the Constitution.

The apex court made this observation while hearing petitions challenging President Pervez Mushrraf holding two offices, Daily Times reported.

A nine-judge bench, headed by Justice Rana Bhagwandas, also chided lawmakers for the ambiguities in the law pertaining to dual office.

Counsel for petitioner Pakistan Tehreek Insaf Hamid Khan contended that the EC had amended the Presidential Rules 1988 with the President's consent so the disqualification clauses laid down in Article 63 did not apply to Gen Musharraf.

But the court pointed out that the EC had not been made a party in the main petition. Later, it also declined a similar request in this regard.

Mr Khan argued that the two-offices law was discriminatory as it exempted only the current President from the rules of disqualification. The law allowing the President to hold two offices did not clearly mention whether it was applicable for one term or more, he added.

The Bench noted that parliamentarians should have cleared the issue when passing the law. ''When these laws were being made, did they (parliamentarians) not go through it?,'' it asked.

UNI

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