It was not clear whether the court plans to issue contempt notices or simple warnings. During the hearing, the Sharif government on Monday sought more time for the key appointment but the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk rejected the request.

The court had fixed November 24 as the deadline for the appointment of CEC who heads the Election Commission of Pakistan. Attorney General Salman Butt informed the court that leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shah was abroad and the deadline may be extended.

The court rejected it and asked the government to consult Shah on telephone. Under the law, Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition should appoint the CEC with consensus. But this government and opposition have failed to come up with a joint candidate so far.

In case they fail to agree on one name, both must propose three names each to a specially-constituted parliamentary committee, which can then pick out one name. The court warned that it would issue notices to both Sharif and Shah for failing to honour the deadline in the next hearing of the case which was adjourned to December 1.

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