ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has initiated the process of election reforms for the bar elections to purge the electoral process and end the “use of money” in it.

In this regard, a joint meeting of Judicial and Electoral Reforms Committee of the PBC, Vice-Chairmen of Provincial/Islamabad Bar Councils and Presidents of High Court Bar Associations held a meeting at the Council’s Office in the Supreme Court building. The meeting considered formulating proposals for amendments in the Rules of the Pakistan Bar Council, for reformation of election process of Bar Councils and Bar Associations.

 Talking to The Nation on Friday, Abid Saqi Advocate Vice Chairman of Pakistan Bar Council said that it is just the beginning and these recommendations were given by the Electoral Reforms Committee but the PBC would approve more restrictions like bans on dinners or lunches to further reduce the influence of money in these elections in its next meeting to be held in couple of days.

 He added, “We have prepared comprehensive reforms which would be presented in the next meeting of the PBC for their approval and by doing this, we are intended to halt use of money in the bar elections.”

Discussing the purpose of introducing these reforms, Saqi said, “We intend to avoid environmental degradation as the candidates and their supporters paste a large number posters and panaflex on the walls of courts and district courts premises.”

 

He said, “The electoral reforms also aim to ensure and maintain the dignity and honor of the legal community.’

 

Similarly, Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon Chairman of Judicial and Electoral Reforms Committee PBC said that strict action would be taken by disqualifying any candidate from contesting if they are found violating the restrictions introduced by the committee.

 

He added, “A focal person would be appointed in every district and he would directly submit his report to the PBC. The PBC would take action as per the report of the focal person against the candidates who violated the code of conduct.” He further said that such candidates would be barred from contesting the election of the bar while his membership would also be cancelled.

 

He asserted, “Our main purpose of all this exercise is to purge the election process of the bars.”

     

In the meeting of the reforms committee, PBC and the provincial Councils & Associations decided that no prospective/contesting candidate or his supporter, in the ensuing elections of Provincial/Islamabad Bar Councils and the Bar Associations, shall canvass for votes through advertisements, banners, play cards and posters.

  

However, the candidate may solicit support through personal contact and by issuing letters and visiting cards of “3 x “5 size, on which he may also display his photograph. Any violation thereof shall be treated as ‘misconduct’ disqualifying/disentitling the prospective/contesting candidate to contest election of the Bar Council and/or the Bar Association, as the case may be.

 

It was also decided that in the election of Bar Associations in case of transfer of name of a voter member from one Bar Association to another, the transferee member/voter will be eligible to cast his vote in the election of the Bar Association to which he gets his name transferred, only after expiry of two years of such transfer.