The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has been summoned in person by the district returning officer (DRO) by April 30.
Nazir Ahmed Gajana directed the PTI chief to appear before the court to receive a notice issued to him for violating Sections 38 and 39 of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Code of Conduct.
The DRO had issued notices to the PTI chief and Abdul Aleem Khan, the party’s Lahore president, for taking out a rally on The Mall on Saturday without obtaining permission.
On Friday, Abdul Aleem Khan appeared before the court to receive his notice and sought the PTI chief ‘s exemption from a personal appearance because he was busy with the election campaign. Gajana, however, told Aleem Khan that Imran Khan would have to receive his notice in person.
After that a reply can be filed by anyone on Imran Khan’s behalf, said the DRO. Abdul Aleem Khan then assured the DRO that Imran Khan would appear before the court.
DIG (Operations) had written to the DRO earlier this week, saying that the police had received reports from Civil Lines SP and the district Security Branch that on April 20, around 2,500 members of the PTI, led by Abdul Aleem Khan and Shoaib Siddiqui, had gathered on the Mall. The rally went from The Mall towards the Data Darbar and obstructed traffic on one side of the main artery from 5 pm to 9:40 pm.
The rally, according to police, had about 90 cars, 50 motorcycles and nine Shahzor mini trucks.
Article 38 states: “Car rallies are not allowed to travel long distances except if the political parties, candidates or their supporters have pre-arranged corner meetings at specific designated places.”
Article 39 states: “The organisers in consultation with the district administration shall take steps in advance to arrange for passage of the procession so that there is no blockage of or hindrance to traffic.
If the procession is very long, it shall be organized in segments of suitable lengths, so that at convenient intervals, especially at points where the procession has to pass road junctions, the passage of held up traffic could be allowed by stages thus avoiding heavy traffic congestion and inconvenience of the general public.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2013.
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