ECP orders the minister to appear in person
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued on Thursday a show-cause notice to Railways Minister Azam Swati who had accused the ECP officials of accepting bribes and asked the CEC to resign.
The ECP has judicial powers and its two-member bench comprising Nisar Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi heard the case in Islamabad on Thursday.
Chaudhry Faisal, the lawyer representing Azam Swati could not appear at the hearing. His junior lawyer appeared on his behalf and informed the bench that Chaudhry was occupied by a case at the Supreme Court.
The ECP bench asked whether the junior lawyer had been briefed by his senior about the case. The judges said simply submitting the representation agreement was not going solve the problem.
The ECP rejected the junior lawyer’s plea and issued a show-cause notice to Azam Swati, ordering him to appear in person on October 26.
The federal minister Azam Swati raged against the ECP at a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs last month.
He said the ECP was the root of what is destroying democracy in the country and such institutions should be set on fire.
In the meeting, Swati levelled serious allegations of rigging and accepting bribes against the ECP officials, adding that the ECP should be answerable to the public and parliament.
He said the government had been working on the electronic voting machines for two years but the ECP would not budge.
The ECP officials walked out of the meeting in protest.
Later, the ECP had decided to serve legal notice to Azam Swati over his scathing remarks on the election body for its objection on the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next general elections.