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Wednesday May 29, 2024

ECP empowers ROs, POs with 1st-class magistrate authority for by-elections

District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs) were vested with magisterial powers as per notification issued by ECP

By APP
April 15, 2024
A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad. — AFP/File
A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has granted Returning Officers (ROs) and Presiding Officers (POs) powers equivalent to those of first-class magistrates to ensure the seamless execution of the forthcoming by-elections on five National and 16 provincial Assembly constituencies scheduled for April 21.

District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs) were vested with magisterial powers as per the notification issued by the ECP, in adherence to Section 193 of the Election Act 2017.

The presiding officers have the authority to employ these powers during the by-elections across five National and 16 provincial assemblies in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan, spanning from April 20 to 22, until the official declaration of final results for the candidates.

Returning Officers (ROs) and District Returning Officers (DROs) are empowered to take action against candidates who violate the code of conduct set forth by the ECP.

These officers have the authority equivalent to that of a magistrate first class concerning offenses outlined in sections 169 and 171.

They can also initiate legal proceedings under Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and conduct summary trials as per Chapter XX of the code.