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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan ECP) said on Sunday that a notice has been issued to Samar Haroon Bilour, Member Provincial Assemble Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for interfering with the sanctity of ballot during by election in NA 31.

A letter issued to Ms Bilour by the District Returning Officer (DRO) and shared by the ECP. DRO stated that it has come to his notice through a video circulated on social media and electronic media showing therein the recording of casting vote in the premises of the polling station.

The DRO has drawn the attention of Ms Bilour towards article 226 of the constitution read with section 175 and section 178 of the Elections Act, 2017 which states that act of interference with secrecy of vote comes under illegal practice.

He also produced the relevant section 178 (d) in the letter which states that “Interference with secrecy of voting- a person is guilty of interference with the secrecy of voting if he takes or attempts to take a photograph of the marked ballot paper by using cell phone camera or any other device to interfere with the secrecy of vote.

DRO said that Ms Bilour is being called upon to appear in person or through her counsel before the DRO on 17-10-2022 at 11 00 am in the office to explain her position. He added that failure to appear before the may warrant ex-party legal action against her under the relevant provisions of law, including forwarding her case to ECP for disqualification and further necessary/ action.

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan has directed for taking action against use of mobile phone during the polling and directed RO, District Returning Officer and provincial ECs for taking stern action against use of mobile phone because this is violation of the secrecy of ballot and mobile phone can be confiscated, as well as, the person can be handed over to the police.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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