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SC reserves verdict in election expenses petition

April 20, 2012


Supreme Court of Pakistan. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its decision on a petition pertaining to the regulation of election campaign expenses incurred by political parties, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench comprising of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez heard the petition.

Chief Justice said in his remarks that the election commission was not working properly and was acting as ‘a mere post office’.

The court expressed displeasure over the absence of director general ECP Syed Sher Afghan Khan.

During the hearing, Abid Hasan Minto, a prominent lawyer who filed the petition on behalf of the Workers Party of Pakistan, said voting was compulsory in many of the countries and that citizens were penalised if they failed to vote.

Minto moreover said that the ECP was an independent institution but that it did not understand its responsibility.

Justice Khilji questioned that if the voter did not want to vote for any of the candidates, then what choice would be available to him. Khilji moreover said that the ballot paper should have an option of ‘none of the above’ to service those voters.

Also during the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that municipal elections were a constitutional requirement and that it was the election commission’s responsibility to conduct them.

Moreover, the chief justice remarked that preparation of electoral rolls was the responsibility of the election commission.

Monitoring campaign expenses is also the responsibility of the commission, he added.