GB’s CEC barred from intervening in govt affairs

Published October 21, 2020
Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit- Baltistan Raja Shahbaz Khan. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit- Baltistan Raja Shahbaz Khan. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan’s chief court on Tuesday stopped the GB chief election commissioner (CEC) from intervening in the affairs of government departments.

The two-member bench of the chief court conducted hearing of a case filed against transfer of GB’s water and power officials during election days.

After hearing arguments from both the sides, the bench comprising Chief Judge Justice Malik Haq Nawaz and Judge Ali Baig stopped unnecessary interventions by Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shah in the affairs of government departments, including issuing tenders for uplift projects and transferring government employees during election days.

The court ended the condition of getting approval from the GB chief election commissioner for transferring government employees, issuing tenders of projects and making appointments and deciding other government matters till the elections.

The court limited the powers of the chief election commissioner to election matters under Section 10 of the Election Act, 2017.

The bench ordered that action would be taken against secretaries and officials who complied with illegal, verbal and written orders of the chief election commissioner.

The court directed the GB chief secretary to monitor election commissioner’s intervention in internal matters of government departments.

The bench also directed secretaries of all government departments to submit details with the GB chief court about transfer of government employees on the order of the chief election commissioner.

The two-judge bench explained that under the Election Act, 2017, the chief election commissioner can only deal with election matters. The court then declared intervention of the chief election commissioner in government departments illegal.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2020

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