The annual election of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) will take place on February 27.
The LHCBA election board has announced that only lawyers registered with a biometric system would be able to vote in the election.
“No one will be allowed this year to vote manually,” Advocate Shahzad Shaukat, the election board chairman, told a press conference on Friday. Shaukat appealed to lawyers to register with the biometric system prepared by the bar. He said four mobile teams had been formed for the biometric registration of lawyers. He said of the 21,414 voters, 11,469 were already registered with the system. The highest number of unregistered voters was in Lahore (4,305), he said.
Of the 26,431 bar members, 1,307 are women.
Those who became bar members after August 28, 2015, are not eligible to vote because Pakistan Bar Council has ruled that a member needs to be registered with the LHCBA for at least six months to be able to participate in the elections. The last date for clearing bar dues was December 31.
There were 19,672 voter members in 2015.
Shaukat has said 58 machines would be installed at three locations to facilitate voting. Polling will be held from 9am to 5pm with a lunch break of an hour. Only lawyers would be allowed on the LHC premises on February 27, he said. He said a voter must bring his national identity card (CNIC) and the bar membership card with him. Copies of cards would not be acceptable.
Muhammad Ramazan Chaudhry and Rana Ziaur Rehman are vying for president. Six candidates are in the run for vice president. Four candidates are in the field for secretary.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued notices last week to federal and provincial governments in connection with a petition challenging the removal of Section 7 of the Christian Divorce Act.
The judge had also issued notices to Bishop of Pakistan Alexander John Malik and Bishop of Lahore Irfan Jamil and sought replies from the respondents by March 28. In his reply, Malik had supported the petition and requested the impugned provision to be reintroduced.
Petitioner Amin Masih, a resident of Youhanabad, had said that the Matrimonial Causes Act was interpreted in a liberal fashion in the United Kingdom (UK). He said this allowed an estranged couple to part. Masih said there was no such provision in Pakistan for Christian couples. He said Christian couples could only part if a man accused his wife of adultery as per Section 10 of the Act. Masih said this was belittling. Masih had filed the petition through Advocate Sheraz Zaka..
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2016.
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