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Senate polls must be done through secret ballot: SC

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The Supreme Court has ruled that the Senate elections must be done through a secret ballot as per Article 226 of the Constitution.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi — announced the verdict in the open court with 4-1 majority.

The Election Commission, it said, is empowered to take all the steps to ensure transparency in the polls.

“It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to end corrupt practices from the electoral process and it can utilise the technology in this regard,” the short order stated.

The apex court further said that it is up to the ECP to decide to which extent the voting should remain secret.

The court had reserved its opinion last week after all the parties had concluded their arguments and after the rebuttal of Attorney-General Khalid Javed. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had observed that the court will give its opinion by interpreting the provisions of the Constitution.

 

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