PakistanTehrek-e- Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said his party was considering filing a “judicial reference” against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja for what he described as the “violation of the election and judicial code of conduct”.
“Two days ago, a meeting was held between the Election Commission of Pakistan and the government. In it, they discussed the PTI funding case,” he said, claiming that it was a “gross violation” of electoral rules.
Chaudhry was referring to the recently-held meeting between the ECP and a delegation of the ruling alliance in which the former had urged the electoral body to release the verdict in the prohibited funding case against the PTI at the earliest.
The case, previously called the foreign funding case, was filed by Akbar S. Babar and has been pending since Nov 14, 2014. Babar, who was a founding member of the PTI but is no longer associated with it now, had alleged serious financial irregularities in the party’s funding from Pakistan and abroad.
The ECP had reserved its verdict in the case last month.
At a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday, Chaudhry said: “The ECP chairman and members receive salaries equal to high court and Supreme Court judges. Even their perks and privileges are similar to judges.
“Thus, the code of conduct that applies to them is that of the superior courts,” Chaudhry said. “Never does a judge of the superior court meet the respondents of a case he is hearing. He does not hold discussions over it.”
The PTI leader went on to say that the CEC’s meeting with the government was also against the judiciary’s code of conduct.
“Ignoring these rules, they [the CEC] met a respondent in a pending case and assured them that a decision will be taken,” he claimed, adding that the CEC even issued a press release later.
Hence, Chaudhry claimed, this was a “fit case” of proceedings against the election commissioner and officials which would be sent to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan.
Recalling the SC’s decision on the National Assembly deputy speaker’s controversial ruling on the no-confidence movement against Imran Khan he said: “Back then, the CJP had called the heads of all the parties and it was clear that the SC had the point of view of going towards elections.
“But if you remember, it was the CEC who had said that elections could not be held until October. Today, the crisis in the country is because of that statement of the ECP,” he said.
Chaudhry said that ECP’s decision at that time “strengthened” the incumbent government.
“Today, Pakistan’s currency is the second-worst after Ukraine — a country at war. This is the situation of our economy today and ECP has played the greatest role in this,” he stated.