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Chief Justice of Pakistan directs Election Commission of Pakistan to solve problems faced by DRO’s/ROs, AROs

Islamabad, April 04, 2013 (PPI-OT): Following the NJPMC decisions to relax the restriction on Judicial Officers on performing functions relating to the conduct of elections, and consequently their engagement in such duties as DRO’s/ROs, AROs the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan / Chairman NJPMC embarked on a programme to personally interact with them.

In this regard, a meeting was held on 02.04.2013 at the Islamabad High Court with DRO’s/RO’s of Islamabad Capital Territory / Rawalpindi Division to know about the problems being faced by the Judicial Officers/District Returning Officers/Returning Officers/Assistant Returning Officers (DROs/ROs/AROs) of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi Division in the performance of the election duty assigned to them. During the meeting, it transpired that the DROs / ROs are faced with multiple problems / challenges including slow speed of the internet and frequent interruption of electric supply, which operate as a handicap and hamper the timely/efficient performance of functions by them..

Having heard the problems, the HCJP / Chairman, NJPMC directed that the Registrars of the High Courts may get feedback from the DROs/ROs within their jurisdiction with respect to any problem / complaint being faced by them and to submit report so as to ensure credibility/transparency in the electoral process. Accordingly, in pursuance of this letter, responses from the Registrars of the High Courts were received.

The Registrar, Lahore High Court, Lahore highlighted the problems being faced by the DROs/ROs/AROs as under: –

(a) Inefficient complementary staff.
(b) Load shedding/power break down.
(c) Non-availability of I.T facility in some Districts.
(d) Improper security arrangements inside Courts compound.
(e) Lack of logistic support.
(f) Inadequate communication by the Election Authorities.
(g) Lack of coordination by the Executive Authorities with DROs/ROs/AROs.

The Registrar, High Court of Sindh, Karachi has stated that some of the DROs/ROs/AROs have complained about non-supply of comprehensive voters’ lists, funds, stationary, transport facilities, non-cooperation or delay in furnishing reports by the FBR and NAB and frequent disruption in supply of electricity.

The Registrar, Peshawar High Court, Peshawar has highlighted the grievances/problems faced by the DROs/ROs/ AROs as under: –

(a) Slow speed of the internet and frequent interruption of electric supply due to scheduled/non-scheduled load shedding.

(b) Non-provisions of vehicles to the DROs and ROs by the District Administration for election duty.

(c) Un-satisfactory security arrangements around the Offices/Courts of DROs and ROs keeping in view the law and order situation in the present days.

(d) Selection of monitoring team by the Election Commission in various constituencies without consultation of DROs.

(e) Non-cooperation of Executive Authorities to facilitate the election process smoothly and promptly as per schedule.

(f) Non-cooperation of relevant agencies i.e. FBR, NAB etc. by not supplying the relevant data timely to the DROs and ROs for scrutiny of the nomination papers etc.

The Registrar, High Court of Balochistan, Quetta has described the problems faced by the DROs/ROs/AROs as under: –

(a) Law and order/security problem.
(b) Slow speed of internet.
(c) Frequent interruption of electric supply.
(d) Transport facility for verification of polling station not yet provided.
(e) Funds earmarked are insufficient to meet the requirements.
(f) Non-provision of stationery by the Election Authorities.
(g) FBR/NAB not providing the required data in time.

On receipt of the response from all High Courts, the HCJP/Chairman NJPMC observed that the aforesaid issues and problems being faced by DROs/ROs/AROs are of serious nature and unless immediately addressed, they are likely to hamper the electoral process. He, therefore, directed Secretary ECP to take urgent concrete and specific measures in coordination with all the concerned authorities of the Federal and the Provincial Governments and submit report of the steps so taken by him today.

The process is being monitored under the direct supervision of HCJP/Chairman, NJPMC, therefore, as soon as the report in question is received from the Secretary ECP, the same will be placed before him for his perusal.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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