IHC suspends Article 202 of Election Act 2017

01:45 PM | 30 Nov, 2017
IHC suspends Article 202 of Election Act 2017
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ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday suspended the Article 202 of the Election Act 2017 after four political parties sought the action arguing the clause was in violation of basic human rights and the Constitution.

The said Article 202 of the Election Act 2017 states that all political parties that wish to take part in the upcoming General Election must provide 'a list of at least 2,000 members with their signature or thumb impression along with the copies of [their] National Identity Card[s]'.

Under Article 202, for which the Election Commission of Pakistan had also issued a notification, political parties were required to pay Rs200,000 as enlistment fee and any political party not fulfilling such conditions would not be eligible to contest the polls.

Four political groups, Pakistan Democratic Party, Sadaa-i-Pakistan, Fatahyab Democratic Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Safdar Zaman), had petitioned the court through the counsel Hafiz Mohammad Sufyan and Chaudhry Hamid Advocate.

Justice Amir Farooq after hearing the arguments scrapped the article and issued notices to all stakeholders, including the Election Commission of Pakistan and adjourned hearing until January 9, 2018.

Earlier, a press release issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on November 24 notified parties of Article 202 of the Election Act 2017.

This is not the first time that the Election Act 2017 has been challenged in court as multiple petitions are pending before the supreme court including the one filed by Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rasheed.

The petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf challenging the act was not admitted by the apex court and certain objections were raised.