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Supreme Court seeks replies from federation, ECP

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday sought replies from the Federation as well as Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) within 15-days on a petition seeking electoral reforms in the country. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry took up a petition filed by Secretary Workers Party of Pakistan.

Abid Hassan Minto, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the present electoral system in the country was very costly, thus a common man could not take part in the elections. He said millions of rupees were spent on elections, thus only rich and feudal lords could stand in polls He said that this system had developed corruption, adding that the people who won elections, first tried to recover their money by hook or crook, which they spent on electioneering and then start collecting money to win next election.

He said there was a dire need for electoral reforms, which could guarantee participation of common man in the election process. He said restriction should be imposed on election rallies and processions. Besides pleaded that display of hoarding should also be banned.

Instead of these things, he submitted, there should be door to door election campaign and comprehensive manifestos for solution of public problems should be presented. He requested the court to order new electoral reforms. After hearing Minto, the court issued notices to Federation and ECP directing them to furnish their replies within fortnight.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011