Election code violations: No legal proceedings in 14 cases filed against Layyah candidates

LAYYAH: There has been no legal proceedings in the 14 cases lodged against candidates of different political parties and their supporters for various violations of election code of conduct so far.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had issued the code of conduct for the candidates participating in the general election held in July last year.

To monitor the election campaigns of the candidate and implement the code, monitoring committees headed by the deputy commissioners were established in every district of the province.

For Layyah, the district monitoring committee comprising 13 members was constituted under the then deputy commissioner Rafaqat Ali Naswana.

The committee had lodged 14 FIRs under various sections against the candidates for provincial and national assemblies seats in different police stations of the district.

In this regard, an FIR (No 330/18) was lodged at Layyah city police station against independent candidate for PP-248, Malik Hashim Hussain Sahu under the Punjab Sound System Ordinance. Besides the candidate, 24 unidentified people were also booked in the case.

Similarly, Chowk Azam police registered an FIR (No 364/18) under section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against the supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf provincial assembly candidate for PP-282, besides 80 unidentified persons.

In Tehsil Karor Lal Esan, Karor police lodged two FIRs (No 308 and 309/18) for display of arms by the workers of different political parties.

Chowk Azam police lodged an FIR (No 365/18) under section 188 of the PPC against three identified and 80 unidentified activists of PML-N. Kot Sultan police lodged an FIR (No 161/18) under section 188 of the PPC against the Pakistan Peoples Party National Assembly candidate Malik Muhammad Ramzan.

Similarly, Kot Sultan police entered an FIR (No 162/18) under section 188 of the PPC against PML-N National Assembly candidate Syed Saqlain Shah Bukhari and two others. Another FIR was registered at the same police station against three PML-N activists under Punjab Sound System Ordinance for code violations.

Karor police also lodged an FIR (No 311/18) under Section 188 of the PPC against the PTI NA candidate Haji Abdul Majeed Khan Niazi, who was also booked (FIR No 116/18) under section 188 of the PPC. Mr Niazi’s supporters were also booked by Karor police (FIR No 317 and 392/18) under section 188 of the PPC.

The police also entered a case (No 313/18) under section 188 of the PPC against independent candidate for provincial assembly, Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh.

Layyah city police entered an FIR (No 373/18) under section 188 of the PPC against independent candidate for NA-182 Chaudhry Ishfaq Ahmad.

According to sources, neither the police made any arrests in these 14 cases, nor any of the nominated suspects bothered to secure a bail before arrest. Even investigation process in these cases had not been started, they added.

Police spokesperson Usama Mushtaq maintained that all the FIRs were sealed on the order of “higher authorities”.

Published in Dawn