IHC suspends ECP notification about parties’ particulars

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court on Thursday suspended the ECP notification of October 20, wherein the poll body had directed all political parties to submit certain details about party structures and other requirements.

IHC judge Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of a petition moved by four political parties — the Democratic Party of Pakistan, the Pakistan Democratic Front, the Sadai-e-Pakistan Party and Pakistan the Muslim League Safdar — and suspended the said notification of the ECP after hearing arguments of the petitioners.

Besides suspending the notification, the IHC bench also issued notices to the respondents directing them to submit their replies.

On October 20, the ECP issued a notification saying, “Whereas in pursuance of the provisions of Election Act, 2017, all political parties are advised through this notice to fulfill and comply with section 201, 202, 209 and 210 of the Act and provide a list of at least 2000 members with their signatures or thumb impressions along with copies of national identity cards and a proof of deposit of two hundred thousand rupees in favour of the ECP in the State Bank of Pakistan or the National Bank of Pakistan as enlistment fee within 60 days.”

The notification had stated that “in case political parties fail to comply with the notification, the ECP shall cancel their enlistment under section 202(5) of the Act.” The ECP had further directed the political parties to provide the mentioned requirement till December 2. The four political parties had challenged the notification and cited the Federation through the secretary ministry of law, the ECP and the director general (elections) as respondents.

The petitioners had adopted that they were legally enlisted political parties after they had fulfilled all procedural and codal formalities.

They had contended that the provisions of Act were ultra vires and against the Constitution. They had prayed to the court to suspend the ECP notification.


The Islamabad High Court on Thursday summoned Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar on December 14 in the petition of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted the hearing of the petition wherein it has sought judicial custody of Safdar revoking his bail. The bench issued these directions after a NAB prosecutor contended that the Accountability Court was not authorized under the law to release Safdar on bail.

The Accountability Court Islamabad on October 2 had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Safdar and granted bail to him on October 9 after he was arrested by NAB at the Islamabad airport on arrival from London.

Before that, the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Safdar after he did not appear before it despite summons.

In its petition, NAB said that Safdar was an accused in Avenfield apartments corruption reference and on September 14, the AC had summoned him for September 19. After Safdar did not appear before the court, the AC re-summoned him for September 26 and even then he did not appear. On October 2, the AC issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him. Later, NAB arrested the accused from the Islamabad airport and produced him before the court. The petition said that the AC instead of remanding him to judicial custody of NAB, released him on bail against Rs 5 million surety bonds that is unlawful.

NAB adopted that the AC had no power to grant bail to the accused under section 9(b) of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999. Therefore, it prayed to the court to nullify the AC order dated October 9 while declaring it as illegal and without jurisdiction and Safdar may be remanded to judicial custody of NAB.

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