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General News of Wednesday, 25 November 2020


Election 2020: Judgement on presidential petition in 42 days may be impossible - Baba Jamal

Private legal practitioner, Baba Jamal Private legal practitioner, Baba Jamal

Private legal practitioner, Baba Jamal, has reacted to the Supreme Court’s amendment of the rule of petitioning the presidential elections by stating that the provision of making judgement after forty-two days may not be feasible.

According to him, while the intention is commendable, he doubts that a judgement can be made after 42 days considering that the process of petitioning and hearing court entails so much.

In an interview with Sefa Danquah on the ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ show, he stated: “The intention is commendable which is that when a problem arises it can be solved quickly. Our transition is a one-month thing so if the election petition prolongs it becomes disturbing. So expeditiously dealing with it is good. But I am wondering how the election petition will be done in 42 days. Even though there are timelines, despite the Supreme Court rule, there are some general court laws that help the court to run smoothly which is in terms of evidence and how to get data and all that”.

Baba Jamal recalled that during the 2012 election petition, the case was dragged because the parties involved needed time to gather and audit evidence. “Let’s take the 2012 petition, for example, when the Supreme Court ordered the auditing of the evidence and all that.

I am wondering how within that 42 days all this evidence can be brought before the court for the court to give a hearing. But if you will make a law we all have to work ourselves into the law and ensure that it can work. In this case, I am a bit doubtful”, he added.

New Supreme Court rules

The two major changes form part of the new Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules, 2016 (C.I. 99) which was enacted into law by Parliament in 2017.

Per Rule 69C (4) of C.I. 99, the pre-trial of the petition shall be on the 10th day after the filing of the petition, with hearing commencing on the 15th day and ending on the 21st day respectively after the filing, while judgment will be on the 42nd day.