LAHORE: No objection was raised to the membership of any Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) voter as the date for raising objections lapsed, The Express Tribune has learnt.
It is for the first time that no objection has been raised against any voting member of the bar, said a bar official in the Lahore registry office. He said that the final list of eligible voters would be issued on September 30 after scrutinising the voters’ list.
The official added that in Lahore 12 SCBA members’ names had been excluded from the voters’ list since they had passed away.
Returning officer (RO) for the SCBA elections, Afrasyab Khan Chaudhry, said that his team was going through the provisional lists to remove any errors (like correcting any miss-spelt names) and omissions. He said that the provisional list contained 2,130 voters.
Of these voters, 1,518 are from the Punjab, 326 are from Sindh, 179 are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 107 from Balochistan.
About 2,000 of the SCBA voters are life members. Their memberships were changed from ‘regular’ to ‘life’ in 2005. It is learnt that the dues for the membership were paid by Justice (retired) Malik Muhammad Qayyum, who was elected SCBA president that year.
The fee for life membership is Rs10,000. The remaining 130 SCBA voters are regular members whose dues were paid by the presidential candidates to secure their votes, according to a source.
According to the schedule announced by the executive committee of the SCBA, candidates can file their nomination papers from October 5 to October 9.
SCBA secretary Raja Zulqarnain said that scrutiny of nomination papers, hearing of objections on these and decisions regarding the same will be made on October 13.
A list of candidates will be issued on October 18 while appeals against acceptance and rejection of nomination papers may be filed on October 20. Appeals will be dealt with on October 22 while October 23 is the date by which candidates may withdraw from the election. The final list of candidates will be issued on October 25, Raja Said.
Voting for the SCBA election will take place on October 27 and the unofficial results announced the same day. On October 30 a notification declaring the official results will be issued, he said.
The criteria for candidates of the SCBA elections are as follows: To contest elections for the presidential slot, the candidate must have been appearing before the Supreme Court for at least 10 years.
For the candidate for vice president, the requirement is seven years. To contest as a secretary, the candidate should have been a Supreme Court lawyer for five years while the candidates for additional and finance secretaries should have completed at least three years as Supreme Court lawyers and should be residents of Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2010.