ISLAMABAD: In connection with the filing of nomination papers, the Election Commission (EC) has made some queries, being asked from general public.
These quires are: “As to whether the nomination papers are to be delivered to Returning Officers by the candidates in person; as to whether appearance of candidates before the Returning Officers concerned at the time of scrutiny is compulsory; and as to whether attachment of certificate with the nomination form from the political party showing party affiliation of the candidate is compulsory.
The EC has also invited the attention of the political parties as well as candidates to the provisions of Representation of People Act (ROPA), 1976 and the allocation of symbols Order, 2002, clarifying that ‘pursuant to the provisions of section 12(3) of the Act, every nomination paper shall be delivered to the Returning Officer by the candidate in person and the Returning Officer shall acknowledge receipt of the nomination paper specifying the date and time.
Section 14(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 provides that the candidate may attend the process of scrutiny of nomination papers in his own interest, but in case he prefers to remain absent, his nomination paper cannot be rejected due to his failure to appear before the Returning Officer concerned on the date of scrutiny.
According to EC, the candidates may file the certificate from their political parties showing their party affiliations either at the time of filing nomination papers or at the time of scrutiny or at the time of allocation of symbols on the date of withdrawal i.e. 18.4.2013, in terms of section 20A of the Act.
The ECP further clarified that the candidates who are filing nomination papers for the seats reserved for women and non-Muslims may attend the scrutiny of their nomination papers, however, if they do not attend the scrutiny, their nomination papers cannot be rejected on this very ground.