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ECP submits reply in members’ appointment case

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reiterated that the federal government’s notification with regard to appointment of provincial ECP members is illegal and against the Constitution, in a written reply submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Islamabad based lawyer Jahangir Khan Jadoon on August 27 challenged the appointment of the ECP Sindh and Balochistan members in the IHC and requested it to stop implementation of notification issued by Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs.

According to available documents, the ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fatah Muhammad in a three-page reply has adopted the stance that appointment of these members is in violation of the Constitution’s Article 213 as the procedure defined in the Constitution was not followed.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Raza Khan had refused to take oath from both the members. The ECP says the secretary parliamentary affair had been informed about the CEC’s decision.

The Constitution’s Article 214 relates to taking oath of a member. Oath will be taken from members who are considered as being appointed according to the Constitution while the posting of the two members by the president is not considered to be constitutional, the reply says.

It also refers to some Supreme Court’s verdicts. The president had appointed law expert Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui as member Sindh and Muhammad Munir Kakar as member Balochistan.

However, the CEC refused to take oath from both the members. The IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah will hear the case today (Thursday).