Voter lands in jail for taking photo of ballot paper

Gujranwala resident awarded three-month jail sentence for violating rules

KARACHI: A voter in Gujranwala has landed in jail after he took pictures while casting his vote.

In a polling station of NA-81 constituency, presiding officer of Government High School Gujranwala Hasan Shehzad nabbed a voter who was taking pictures of his ballot paper on the day of elections. The accused was identified as Aman Ullah and has been shifted to Central Jail Gujranwala, a reporter told Cutacut.

As per election rules, the presiding officer of any polling station has authorities of a magistrate, which means that he can arrest and give punishment to an offender.

Read: This woman has defeated previously banned ASWJ’s Ahmed Ludhianvi in Jhang

Aman was awarded three months in jail and a fine worth Rs10,000 for violating the rules. He has been accused of carrying a mobile phone inside the polling station and taking photos while casting the vote.

According to 185 (a) of Elections Act 2017, any election official, candidate, polling agent or a voter can get imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or both if s/he fails to maintain secrecy of the ballot paper and the voting process.

The arrested voter can easily get bail but for that to happen, he’ll have to pay the fine imposed on him by the presiding officer.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-elect and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was also seen voting publicly as TV channels recorded the activity. However, in this case, the relevant presiding officer did not take any action.

As a result of his actions, Election Commission of Pakistan (PTI) has summoned Imran on July 30 where he will be required to answer for the violation in person. The commission’s summon came after the issue was brought into ECP’s notice and the footage of the party chairman was also provided. Keeping in view the rules and regulations, his vote in NA-53 constituency is at risk of being cancelled as well.

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