ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for uploading and publishing poll results from every constituency on its official website.
The directives were issued by an IHC bench comprising Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Athar Minallah on a petition filed by PTI Additional General Secretary Saifullah Khan Niazi, who sought court’s directives for publishing form 14 on the ECP’s official website.
Justice Minallah asked the petitioner under which law it was binding on the ECP to publish the said form. He observed that if the constitution does not permit something, then the PTI should move an amendment in parliament to make changes in such laws.
The petitioner through his counsel Shoaib Shaheen argued that every citizen has the right to access form 14 — which contains the results of each and every constituency — under Section 38 of the Public Representation Act.
Justice Qureshi then asked Shaheen if his client had contacted the ECP in this regard. The petitioner’s counsel replied that they served a legal notice on the ECP to publish form 14 regarding the 2013 elections on its official website, but the commission has not responded to the notice.
He said that article 19-A of the constitution guarantees that every citizen shall have the right to have access to information in all matters of public importance, subject to regulation and reasonable restrictions imposed by law.
“It is an established law that state authorities are bound to ensure that there is no breach or violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens. The matter is of great public importance and the IHC may direct ECP to publish form 14 on its official website,” he said.
The bench, meanwhile, directed the petitioner to file a formal application with the ECP according to existing rules.
The bench further observed that the petitioner should have trust in the chief election commissioner, who is a judge of the superior court.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.