A three-member bench led Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali began hearing a suo moto case on Thursday over delays in holding a census in the country.

In its remarks the Chief Justice said that a joke out of the country was being made by delaying the census.

The government does not have fair intentions, in fact the status quo suits all political parties, the CJ said in its remarks.

The Supreme Court said that it had no other option but to summon the prime minister. “The Prime Minister should appear in the court and say that the delay is being caused by the provinces,” the Chief Justice said.

The apex court said that the government should give a final date for the census by December 7, otherwise the court will summon the prime minister.

The Chief Justice asked the government to submit a written assurance that the census will begin of March 15 and end on May 5.