ECP empowers ROs, POs with first-class magistrate authority for by-elections

By-elections on 5 national and 16 provincial assembly constituencies are scheduled to be held on April 21

Our Correspondent April 15, 2024
A social media campaign was launched against the ECP and government officials after opposition parties alleged rigging and manipulation. PHOTO: APP


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has granted returning officers (ROs) and presiding officers (POs) powers equivalent to those of first-class magistrates to ensure the seamless execution of the forthcoming by-elections on five national and 16 provincial assembly constituencies scheduled for April 21.

District returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs) had been vested with magisterial powers as per the notification issued by the ECP, in adherence to Section 193 of the Election Act 2017.

The POs have the authority to employ these powers during the by-elections across five national and 16 provincial assemblies in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan, spanning from April 20 to 22, until the official declaration of final results for the candidates.

The ROs and DROs are empowered to take action against candidates who violate the code of conduct set forth by the polls supervisory body.

These officers have the authority equivalent to that of a magistrate first-class concerning offenses outlined in Sections 169 and 171.

They can also initiate legal proceedings under Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and conduct summary trials as per Chapter XX of the code. It is important to note that by-elections will be conducted on April 21 for 21 constituencies of National and Provincial Assemblies.


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