close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
July 18, 2018

No election official to be spared in case of violation: ECP

National

July 18, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has explained that the disciplinary proceedings and punishments as given in the Election Act 2017 will apply in case of violation by any election official, including the judicial officials, polling staff, security officials whether belonging to civil or armed forces, and others.

Senior ECP spokesman told The News here on Tuesday that no election official engaged in the election process is exempted from the disciplinary and criminal proceedings in case of violation of the code of conduct or for his/ her involvement in malpractice, rigging or any other irregularity.

A recent media report suggested that the disciplinary proceeding and criminal action will apply on polling staff (Presiding Officer, Assistant Presiding officer and polling official). The ECP made it clear that each and every official involved in the election process is accountable under the law.

Under the Election Act 2017, it is explained, that the “election official” includes an officer or official of the Commission, a District Returning Officer, a Returning Officer, an Assistant Returning Officer, a Presiding Officer, an Assistant Presiding Officer, a Polling Officer or any officer or official of law enforcing agency or other agencies or any other official appointed or deputed to perform duties in connection with an election.

Section 55 of the Election Act deals with disciplinary proceedings. It reads: “(1) An election official appointed or deputed to perform duties in connection with an election shall be deemed to be under the control, superintendence and discipline of the Commission for the period commencing on and from the date of appointment or deputation till publication of the name of the returned candidate in the official Gazette. (2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law, the Commission may initiate and finalise disciplinary action and impose any penalty against any election official for any act of misconduct provided in the Efficiency and Discipline Rules as applicable to such election official or under any provision of misconduct under this Act, and for this purpose, the Commission shall be deemed to be the Competent Authority under the said Efficiency and Discipline Rules or this Act. (3) The Commission may, at any time, for reasons to be recorded in writing, suspend or withdraw any election official, a public servant or any other person in the service of Pakistan who— (a) obstructs, or prevents, or attempts to obstruct or prevent, the conduct of a fair and impartial poll; or (b) interferes or attempts to interfere with a voter when he casts his vote; or (c) influences or attempts to influence in any manner the polling staff or a voter; or (d) does any other act calculated to influence the result of the election; or (e) disobeys any order, or avoids to carry out any instruction issued by the Commission or any officer authorised to issue any order or instruction or violates any provision of this Act. (4) The Commission may appoint an officer to act as an Enquiry Officer or Authorised Officer to initiate and finalise proceedings under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules applicable to the election official concerned against whom action has been taken by the Commission under sub-section (3) or other provision of this Act or by the Returning Officer under sub-section (6) of section 54 (5) The Enquiry Officer or Authorised Officer shall complete enquiry proceedings under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules as applicable to the election official concerned or under this Act within thirty days of the reference to him and shall submit the enquiry report to the Commission within seven days of the completion of the enquiry. (6) The Commission may impose any penalty provided in the Efficiency and Discipline Rules as applicable to the election official concerned or any penalty provided under this Act. (7) An election official aggrieved by a final order passed by the Commission may, within thirty days of receipt of the final order, file an appeal in the relevant Service Tribunal or other judicial forum. 19 (8) Where the Commission suspends or withdraws any election official, it may appoint any other election official to perform the duty of the election official suspended or withdrawn.”

Section 188 of the Act deals with the penalty for violation of official duty in connection with election. It reads: “An election official or any other person on duty in connection with an election who is guilty of an offence under section 184, section 186 or section 187 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees or with both.”

Section 184, 186 and 187 deal with violation of official duty in connection with election and expects from all officials to remain neutral.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus