Islamabad (Agencies): The National Assembly has passed the Elections Amendment Bill 2019, Radio Pakistan reported on Thursday.
The bill was moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Ali Muhammad Khan and it sought to amend sub-section 3 of section 6 of the Elections Act, 2017 which stated that the commissioner of Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shall constitute three or more member benches to hear and decide complaints, applications, appeals or petitions.
The amendment said that since the total number of members in the commission, including the chairman, amounts to five, constituting benches with at least three members was delaying the process of resolving matters brought to the commission’s attention. “Due to said provision, only one bench can be constituted… The commission is, therefore, facing immense difficulty in disposing of higher number of such petitions or appeals etc. through a single bench.”
Stressing the importance of constituting higher number of benches to dispose of appeals, the bill recommended bringing the number of members in a bench down to two.
Section 6: Delegation of powers:
(1) The Commission may authorize the Commissioner or any of its members or any of the officers of the Commission to exercise and perform any of its powers and functions under this Act.
(2) The Commissioner shall exercise powers relating to the appointment of officers and staff to be employed in connection with the functions of the Commission and determine their terms and conditions of employment in accordance with the Rules.
(3) The Commissioner shall constitute benches comprising three or more members of the Commission to hear and decide complaints, applications, petitions or appeals filed before it under this Act.
(4) The decision of a Bench constituted under sub-section (3) shall be deemed to be a decision of the Commission except where due to difference of opinion among members of the bench, the matter is required to be placed before the full Commission for decision under section 3.