IHC rejects ECP plea against Kissan Relief Package

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday allowed the federal government’s request to set aside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) order suspending parts of National Kissan Relief Package for farmers announced by the prime minister last month.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Aamer Farooq announced the short order. The bench had reserved its verdict on Wednesday after hearing arguments from both sides. Detailed judgment will be issued later on, said court officials.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced the Rs341 billion relief package for farmers on September 15. The ECP, however, had partially suspended the scheme on September 29, saying its announcement ahead of the scheduled local government (LG) elections in Punjab and Sindh amounted to a violation of the code of conduct for the polls.

Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt had argued on Tuesday that the ECP was required to consult with the political parties before suspending the relief package. Butt had added that no such consultation was made prior to the suspension of the package and ECP has drawn an irrational nexus between the package and the LGEs.

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