Overseas Pakistanis: Petition in LHC seeks postal ballot rights

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued notice to the government for December 17.


Our Correspondent December 07, 2012

LAHORE:


The Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the federation on a petition seeking right to vote for overseas Pakistanis.


Advocate Shahid Pervez Jami contended in his petition that registered Pakistani voters were not entitled to vote through postal ballot as provided under section 29(1) of the Representation of People Act 1976, which reserves postal balloting for government servants if they were residing outside their constituency.

Advocate Jami argued that preventing the expatriates from exercising their right to vote was a violation of their fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

The lawyer said that the right to vote was a constitutional right, and accordingly postal ballot paper should be made available to all the registered voters intending to cast their vote within or outside the country.

The lawyer further argued that the Pakistani Diaspora was deprived of the right to vote, despite their role in the country’s development through their foreign exchange remittances.

He prayed that section 29(1) of the Act be declared unconstitutional as it reserves the right of postal ballot only for government servants, their families, prisoners and officials on election duty.

Following the initial arguments, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued notice to the government for December 17.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2012.

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