ISLAMABAD: As part of its annual ritual, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked lawmakers to submit their statements of assets for the financial year ending on June 30, 2018.
The ECP on Monday issued notifications directing federal and provincial legislators to file their yearly statements of assets and liabilities, as well as of their spouses and dependents, by Dec 31.
The last date for submission of these statements of assets under Section 42A of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1976 and Section 25A of the Senate (Elections) Act, 1975 was Sept 30, but a change was brought through the Elections Act, 2017 to make it Dec 31.
Section 137 (1) of the Elections Act reads: “Every member of an Assembly and Senate shall submit to the Commission, on or before 31st December each year, a copy of his statement of assets and liabilities, including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding 30th day of June on Form B.”
Under the following sub-sections, the commission on the first day of January each year is to publish the names of members who failed to submit the requisite statements of assets and liabilities within the specified period and on Jan 16 by an order suspend the membership of a member of an assembly and Senate who fails to submit the statement of assets and liabilities by Jan 15 and such a member shall cease to function till he files the statement.
Section 137 (4) reads: “Where a Member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this section which is found to be false in material particulars, he may, within 120 from the date submission of the statement, be proceeded against for committing the offence of corrupt practice.”
The ECP had announced a plan to scrutinise the statements of assets and liabilities of all lawmakers in December 2016, and the process had also commenced, but the plan was shelved halfway without even an announcement.
Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018