The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday gave relief to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah when it cancelled Rs10,000 fine but refused to drop Rs30,000 fine slapped on PTI Chairman Imran Khan for violating the code of conduct during by-elections.
A four-person bench of the commission, headed by its Sindh member Nisar Durrani, announced its reserved verdict, rejecting Imran Khan’s appeal.
The fine was imposed by ECP district monitoring officer for NA-31 Peshawar-V Shahabuddin for violating the code of conduct issued for the by-election by participating in the September 6 public rally in the provincial capital despite warning.
Para 17 (B) of the code of conduct reads: “The public office-holders including the president, prime minister, Senate chairman and deputy chairman, speaker and deputy speaker of any of the assemblies, federal ministers, ministers of state, governor, chief minister, provincial ministers, and advisers to the prime minister and chief minister should not attend public meeting of any of the contesting candidates.”
The PTI chief had filed an appeal against the official’s fine.
The bench noted that Imran had to file an appeal against the fine within three days but he did so after that.
The same bench also lifted the fine of Rs10,000 imposed on the interior minister.
Faisalabad District Monitoring Officer Syed Basit Ali had issued a notice to Sanaullah in October this year for violating the code of conduct by participating in PML-N candidate Abid Sher Ali’s election campaign for NA-108 by-election.
The ECP officer had taken strict notice of the interior minister’s media briefing amid voting and ordered the expulsion of Sanaullah from the constituency’s jurisdiction.
He had maintained that holding a news conference by a public office-bearer on the polling day within the jurisdiction of a constituency was a violation of the election code.
Similarly, the minister had filed an appeal against the fine and it was accepted by the ECP bench.
Separately, the same bench also heard the issue of the investigation into political parties’ bank accounts.
The lawyer representing the PML-N appeared before the bench and submitted the party’s response to it.
The PTI’s assisting counsel also appeared before the bench.
The ECP bench adjourned the hearing of the case till December 22.