ECP maintains fine on Imran, drops one on Sanaullah

Two leaders were penalised for violating code of conduct in by-elections


Our Correspondent November 30, 2022
A combined image of former prime minister Imran Khan (R) and Interior Minister Rana Sanullah. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s appeal, maintaining its decision to impose a fine of Rs30,000 on him for violating the code of conduct during the party’s campaign in the recently held by-election in Peshawar while it ended the penalty of Rs10,000 slapped on Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

A four-person bench of the commission, headed by its Sindh member Nisar Durrani, announced its reserved verdict in the case of the PTI chief, who is also a former premier.

The fine was imposed by ECP district monitoring officer for NA-31 Peshawar-V Shahabuddin for violating the code of conduct issued for the by-election by participating in the September 6 public rally in the provincial capital despite warning.

The officer had issued the notice to Imran on September 7.

Para 17 (B) of the code of conduct read: “The public office-holders including the president, prime minister, Senate chairman and deputy chairman, speaker and deputy speaker of any of the assemblies, federal ministers, ministers of state, governor, chief minister, provincial ministers, and advisers to the prime minister and chief minister should not attend public meeting of any of the contesting candidates.”

The PTI chief had filed an appeal against the official’s fine.

The bench noted that Imran had to file an appeal against the fine within three days but he did so after that.

The same bench also lifted the fine of Rs10,000 imposed on the interior minister.

Faisalabad District Monitoring Officer Syed Basit Ali had issued a notice to Sanaullah in October this year for violating the code of conduct by participating in PML-N candidate Abid Sher Ali’s election campaign for NA-108 by-election.

The ECP officer had taken strict notice of the interior minister’s media briefing amid voting and ordered the expulsion of Sanaullah from the constituency’s jurisdiction.

He had maintained that holding a news conference by a public office-bearer on the polling day within the jurisdiction of a constituency was a violation of the election code.

Similarly, the minister had filed an appeal against the fine and it was accepted by the ECP bench.

Separately, the same bench also heard the issue of the investigation into political parties' bank accounts.

The lawyer representing the PML-N appeared before the bench and submitted the party’s response to it.

The PTI’s assisting counsel also appeared before the bench.

The ECP bench adjourned the hearing of the case till December 22.

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