An application has been filed in the Supreme Judicial Council for the removal of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial, a private TV channel reported. The complainant, lawyer Raja Sibtain Khan, argues that Justice Umar Ata Badial has been found guilty of misconduct and so should be removed from office immediately. In his written complaint, lawyer Raja Sibtain Khan has called for a probe into the suo motu case regarding holding of elections to the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial assemblies. The complainant claims that the chief justice “devised groupings within the vagaries of the Supreme Court of Pakistan”, and that “he remained successful throughout keeping in his basket four (4) other hon’ble Judges of this Court and thus guilty of misconduct by luring those hon’ble Judges for his own personal motives and benefits”. He argues further that the chief justice constituted a bench according to these groupings “so that he might be able to score a majority order” in the case over delay of provincial elections “which is not only violation of Article 10-A of the Constitution but has also jeopardised the Constitutional and Fundamental Rights of the people of Pakistan”. The complainant argues further that, with these acts, the chief justice demonstrated “unfaithfulness and disloyalty to the State” and “miserably failed to perform his functions honestly and to preserve, protect, and defend the interest of the State”. “Jurisdiction of the Supreme Judicial Council is being invoked to form an opinion that the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Umar Ata Bandial is guilty of misconduct, be removed from his office, after inquiring into the matter, in accordance with the Article 209(6) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, by the President,” lawyer Raja Sibtain Khan states in his complaint to the top judicial body. The complaint to the Supreme Judicial Council comes amid an ongoing battle between the coalition PDM government and the judiciary over the holding of elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had declared as “unconstitutional” the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to postpone polls in the politically crucial Punjab province. The three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial had fixed May 14 as the date for the polls. The electoral body had delayed the Punjab assembly election on March 22 by more than five months, citing the deteriorating security situation in the cash-starved country. But the government rejected the Supreme Court’s decision, terming it a “minority verdict”, with the National Assembly passing a resolution against the top court. The lower house of parliament urged the government and the premier not to obey the apex court orders as it was a “minority verdict”. On Friday, leaders from the ruling coalition called on the “controversial” chief justice, Justice Bandial, to step down. The ruling coalition has accused the chief justice and a few judges of the top court of favouring Imran Khan’s opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in their decisions and the constitution of benches on political cases.