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PTI challenged the ban imposed by ECP

03 May, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has challenged the ban imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on party heads and lawmakers to run campaigns for by-elections.

PTI chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the notifications issued by the ECP restraining party heads, lawmakers and government functionaries from visiting any constituency or giving subscriptions or donations in any constituency.

The petition named the chairman and the director general (elections) of the ECP as respondents.

The petition said being head of a political party Imran Khan addressed public gatherings in connection with by-elections throughout the country and it was his right guaranteed under Article 16 of the Constitution (peaceful assembly).

“That under the Constitution, no restriction could be imposed on any person accept under the law and if restrictions were imposed those were just to maintain public order.”
PTI petitions IHC to declare notifications issued by Election Commission of Pakistan illegal

The PTI chairman said he and his party had a commendable record of holding peaceful rallies and sit-ins for an unprecedented period of marathon 126 days, which proved the fact that they believed in the supremacy of the law, Constitution and public order.

The ECP on April 16, 2015, issued notifications to restrict the president, prime minister, chief ministers, state ministers, governors and advisers from visiting any area of any constituency or giving any subscription or donation is such constituencies. Later, MNAs and MPAs were also included in the notification. These notifications were challenged before a high court that declared them null and void. However, the ECP filed appeals in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The apex court in September 2015 passed an interim order through which the operation of the high court judgment was suspended, and the notification was revived.

The ECP on Feb 6, 2017, issued notices to Mr Khan for visiting different constituencies in Punjab. According to the petitioner, these notices were illegal, mala fide and without a lawful authority.

Babar Awan, the counsel for Imran Khan, contended in the petition that the PTI chairman was an aggrieved party because being head of a political party he could not even visit constituencies during the campaign for by-elections.

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