ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmad has remarked Election Commission (EC) is not at the receiving end and it has to discharge its constitutional obligations.
He further observed “EC has said it will run like it was running before. We are saying EC should fulfill its constitutional obligations. There is set opinion of the people about the Senate polls. The heads of political parties have reached consensus in their speeches in connection with transparency in Senate polls. We are only asking from EC what the procedure is in place to overcome this situation. EC is empowered to frame rules.
Addressing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) the CJP remarked have you made any device to curb corrupt practice. There are certain objectives of the laws and their implementation is your responsibility. We are not understanding the procedure of doing work by you. You have to do what the law is saying. You have to hold polls after reining in corrupt practices as per law. CEC should understand the embarrassment of the people. It is our endeavor elections are held in transparent manner. EC cannot remain silent over it.
The counsel for EC tried to speak then Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked why are you in so hurry.
CJP remarked we will first hear CEC.
The CEC took the plea we hide the identity of voter. There is no mark or serial number. If serial number is written then the voter identity will be exposed.
Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan remarked we are not asking you for showing identity but we are asking how the sale of vote will be determined.
CEC said the identity of vote is secret and it cannot be shown at any cost. If identity has not to be kept secret then court should tell. If the identity has to be shown then amendment will have to be made.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan raised the question the real meaning of secrecy is what. Keeping the ballot papers secret forever is secrecy is written where in the law. Secrecy is only upto casting votes and not for ever. Secrecy is not forever. The court wants to know how the vote can be identified. Corrupt practices were committed in previous election. EC disqualified how many members. The video under discussion is two years old. Did the election commission sleep for two years.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial raised the question if the tribunal has to see vote of any voter after three months of general election then how it will be identified.
Attorney General said if serial number is marked on ballot paper in election then secrecy will not be affected. Serial number will be marked on counterfoil.
Former chairman Raza Rabbani also came on rostrum. He said that Attorney general proposal will be considered a proposal of political party. It is difficult that other stake holders will agree over the proposal which is under discussion. Election commission can devise some solution by taking on board all stake holders.
The court ordered the CEC and members to appear before it on Wednesday. The court also directed CEC to call the meeting and prepare a written reply in consultation with members and file it in the court.