The conundrum of Nomination Papers

June 8, 2018

By Asif Mehmood

Despite that the matter of nomination papers has been decided by the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan with the direction that all candidates in General Elections must now submit an affidavit that will require them to disclose information that has been omitted through a questionable legislation, still the issue is that much important that it must be discussed at length to understand how transparent is the process of legislation in our country.  Whether a legislation of such nature can be called a good legislation or it is simply treacherous?

Just have a look at the narrative of PPP and PMLN. It is said that only the Parliament is competent to make any such law. This is absolutely wrong interpretation of the constitution. For a profound understanding the relevant provision of the Constitution is being reproduced here. In Article 222 the electoral laws are discussed. It is stated therein that the Parliament is empowered to make laws in respect of delimitation, corruption and corrupt practices in elections, in preparation of electoral roll, and the conduct of elections, and election petitions , etc but it is mentioned in the same Article that “ No such law shall have the effects of taking away or abridging any of the powers of the Commissioner or an Election Commissioner under this Part.

Same is mentioned in clause 3 of Article 218. It states “ It shall be the duty of the Election Commission 4[****] to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against.”

Now if this is duty of the Election Commission to make necessary arrangements for the elections and to conduct the election honestly, justly and fairly how the Parliament can deprive it of its powers?