ECP seeks wealth statements of legislators as deadline ends today

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ISLAMABAD: With related deadline expiring today (Friday), the electoral body has sought from all the lawmakers of Pakistan —parliamentarians and provincial assemblies’ members – their wealth details as well as those of their spouses and dependent children.

In the outgoing year, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has repeatedly asked the legislators to submit their wealth details latest by December 31, but several lawmakers are yet to submit their statements of assets and liabilities to the commission, ECP sources told Business Recorder.

Constitutionally, the lawmakers are bound to submit their yearly statements of assets and liabilities and those of their spouses and dependent children as on each year’s June 30, a mandatory requirement under Section 137 (1) of Elections Act, 2017.

This section reads, “Submission of statement of assets and liabilities – Every member of an assembly and Senate shall submit to the commission, on or before 31st December each year, a copy of his statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding thirtieth day of June on Form B.”

On January 1 each year, the ECP publishes the names of legislators who do not share the required wealth statements.

Section 137 (2) reads, “The commission, on the first day of January each year through a press release, shall publish the names of members who failed to submit the requisite statement of assets and liabilities within the period specified under sub-section (1).”

On January 16, the legislative memberships of those legislators who do not submit wealth statements to ECP by January 15 are suspended under Section 137 (3).

“The commission shall, on the sixteenth day of January, by an order suspend the membership of a member of an assembly and Senate who fails to submit the statement of assets and liabilities by the fifteenth day of January and such member shall cease to function till he files the statement of assets and liabilities.”

If the statement of any legislator is found to be false, the ECP can proceed against him/her within 120 days of the submission of the wealth statement to the commission.

“Where a member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this section which is found to be false in material particulars, he may, within one hundred and twenty days from the date submission of the statement, be proceeded against for committing the offence of corrupt practice,” Section 137 (4) of Elections Act 2017 reads.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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