ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet Wednesday approved the Election Laws Bill-2011.
Updated from print edition (below)
Election Commission of Pakistan: Law to act against leaking of information
Sweeping constitutional changes are on the cards to put all those government employees of the Election Commission of Pakistan “breaching secrecy, security, integrity of information or data contained in the electoral roll database”, and passing such information on to any person, in jail for five years and fining them Rs5 million.
The federal cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday (today), with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the chair, will consider a set of constitutional changes in the existing elections laws of the country that have been proposed by Law Ministry under the Election Laws Bill-2011.
The Bill has been submitted to the cabinet for approval before it is tabled in the parliament.
According to documents available with The Express Tribune, a total of eight constitutional changes were recommended in the Electoral Rolls Act 1974.
The most important change in the existing law is the punishment for leaking information or data in breach of security or secrecy.
The salient features of the proposed bills are:
(a) Electoral rolls act 1974 is being amended to bring it in conformity with the Constitution as amended by replacing the “commissioner” and the chief election commissioner where necessary by the Election Commission.
(b) Possession of a national identity card issued by NADRA for purpose of preparing or revising the electoral rolls as well as for casting votes.
(c) The national identity card issued by NADRA shall be valid for these purposes notwithstanding the expiry of validity period.
(d) Speedy trial of election petitions by the election tribunals by adopting the procedure of local commissions for recoding evidences. The evidences at local level will be recorded within ten days of the petition and sent to the Election Tribunal for speedy decisions.
Seeking accolades: Now, bureaucrats to be decorated
After three years of efforts, Pakistani bureaucrats seem close to getting their way in the bid to have civil servants decorated in the same manner as the military.
The official summary of the cabinet division seeking the formal approval of the federal cabinet is being submitted in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday (today).
The effort to put up civil servants for decoration was launched by the civil bureaucracy in the final days of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz. The decision was taken by the secretaries committee, which comprises the top bureaucrats, on September 13, 2007. The summary has been moved by the cabinet division after getting approval from the prime minister.
A committee headed by secretary cabinet comprising administrative divisions, provincial governments and the main award committee shall consider these cases and submit suitable names to the prime minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2011.
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