ECP slaps Rs50,000 fine on PM for violating poll code during Dir rally

KP CM, governor, Pervaiz Khattak, Shah Mehmood, Asad Umar, Murad Saeed also fined

By: News Desk
Published: 09:16 AM, 19 Mar, 2022
ECP slaps Rs50,000 fine on PM for violating poll code during Dir rally
Caption: File photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan, KP Governor Farman Shah and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan (in front).
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The Election Commission of Pakistan has imposed a fine to the tune of Rs50,000 on Prime Minister Imran Khan for violating the election code, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The fine was slapped by Lower Dir District Monitoring Officer. The DMO has asked the prime minister to submit the fine to the national kitty by March 22.

Besides PM Khan, other political leaders who were fined for violating the election code included Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, KP Governor Shah Farman, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Development Minister Asad Umar, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Communication Minister Murad Saeed, provincial minister Anwar Zeb and MPA Liaquat Ali. They were also fined Rs50,000 each. 

The election commission has also imposed fine on chairmen candidates of 7 tehsils. 

According to the DMO notice, the state machinery was used during a public rally held by the ruling PTI in Lower Dir on March 11. The DMO said that use of state resources could impact the forthcoming local government elections in the KP. 

It is pertinent to mention here that the election commission also issued a notice to Prime Minister Khan for participating in the rally and summoned him on March 14, either in person or through his counsel.

Also on Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had rejected the petition, seeking court order to bar the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from taking an action against Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the hearing of the petition, Barrister Ali Zafar, counsel for the prime minister, prayed to the court to bar the ECP from acting against his client until the next hearing. 

Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that the court could not grant ‘stay’ in the case. “Seeing PM Imran’s conduct, the IHC cannot give such an order to the election commission,” he said, and added that the premier ought to have appeared in the ECP. “Why don’t you appear in the ECP and raise the issues there?” he asked. 

Barrister Ali Zafar replied that the election commission had already given an order against the ordinance under review.

Justice Farooq went on to say that it was unfortunate that the government had started relying on ordinances for the legislation. 

He further said that the constitution granted to the ECP the power to hold free, fair and transparent elections. “Can the government strip the election commission of this power, guaranteed to it under the constitution, through an ordinance,” he questioned.  

Earlier, Muhammad Zubair Sarfaraz, whom PM Imran had authorized, removed the Registrar Office’s objections through his biometric. 

The court then adjourned hearing of the case until March 28, 2022.

Reporter Usman Khan