ROs cannot attend ‘preliminary meetings’ before polls, judges respond


–Judges tell ECP about invitations for preliminary meetings by commanding officers

LAHORE: District and sessions judges in Kasur and Sargodha have written to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), conveying them about being invited for preliminary meetings by the respective commanding officers in their cities, according to letters circulating on social media.

Chaudhry Ameer Muhammad Khan, Sargodha district and sessions judge, told the ECP that he received a request from a commanding officer to attend a meeting on July 2 at his office as a “preliminary meeting”.

Sargodha judge writes to ECP. Dated June 30, 2018.

“[The request is] oblivion to the role and position of District Returning Officer for the conduct of free, fair and transparent General Election-2018, Army has been deployed for provision of security in aid to this office,” the letter reads.

A similar case occurred in Kasur where Kasur district and sessions judge Sardar Tahir Sabir claimed to receive a letter from Acting Commanding Officer Major Murtaza Ahmed to attend a conference at Abdul Majeed Axe Camp, Kasur. “The derogatory direction issued to DROs and ROs…cannot be countenanced [in view of Article 175 of the Constitution],” Sabir responded to the request.

Kasur judge writes to ECP. Dated June 26, 2018.