ORDINANCE NO. I OF 2016
GILGIT-BALTISTAN COUNCIL (ELECTION) ORDINANCE, 2015
An Ordinance to provide for the conduct of election to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council.
[Gazette of Pakistan, Extraordinary, Part-I, dated 18th January, 2016]
WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the conduct of election to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto;
AND WHEREAS the Gilgit-Baltistan Council is not in Session and the Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan Council is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action;
NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the power conferred by clause (4) of Article 59 of the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self Governance) Order, 2009, the Governor is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance.
1. Short title and commencement.–(1) This Ordinance may be called the Gilgit-Baltistan Council (Election) Ordinance, 2015.
(2) It shall come into force at once.
2. Definitions.–(1) In this Ordinance, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,
(a) “Assembly” means the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly;
(b) “bye-election” means an election to fill a casual vacancy referred to in Section 80;
(c) “candidate” means a person proposed as a candidate for election as a member;
(d) “Chairman” means Chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council;
(e) “Commissioner” means the Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit-Baltistan;
(f) “Contesting candidate” means a candidate who has been validly nominated for election as a member and has not withdrawn his candidature;
(g) “Election” means an election to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council other than a bye-election;
(h) “electoral roll” means an electoral roll prepared under the law relating to the preparation and revision of electoral rolls for the time being in force;
(i) “Member” means member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council;
(j) “nomination day” means the day appointed under Section 10 for the nomination of candidates;
(k) “Order” means the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-Governance) Order, 2009;
(l) “polling day” means the day on which poll is taken for an election;
(m) “Polling Officer” means a Polling Officer appointed under Section 7;
(n) “prescribed”‘ means prescribed by rules;
(o) “Provincial Government” means Governments of the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Balochistan, as the case may be;
(p) “returned candidate” means a candidate who has been declared elected as a member under this Ordinance;
(q) “Returning Officer” means an officer appointed under Section 5 and includes a Polling Officer acting as or performing the function of returning officer or performing the functions of the Returning Officer;
(r) “rules” means rules made under this Ordinance;
(s) “scrutiny day” means the day fixed under Section 10 for the scrutiny of nomination papers;
(t) “voter” means a person who is a member of the Assembly; and
(u) “withdrawal day” means the day fixed under Section 10 on or before which candidature may be withdrawn.
(2) Words and expressions used but not defined in this Ordinance but are used in the in the Order shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the same meanings as are assigned to them in the Order.
ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY FOR THE
CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS
3. Organization and conduct of election.–Subject to the provision of this Ordinance and the rules, the Commissioner shall regulate the procedure for organizing, and conducting an election in such manner as he may deem fit.
4. Delegation of powers.–The Commissioner may authorize any of the officers subordinate to him to exercise and perform all or any of his powers and functions under this Ordinance.
5. Returning Officers.–For the purposes of an election, the Commissioner shall appoint a Returning Officer for the Assembly.
6. Polling Station.–The Commissioner shall provide a polling station for the purpose of election of members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council by the members of the Assembly.
7. Polling Officers.–The Commissioner shall, for the purpose of conducting an election, also appoint such number of Polling Officers to assist the Returning Officer as he may consider necessary.
8. Duties and powers of Returning Officer.–(1) A Returning Officer shall conduct the poll in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules and shall exercise all necessary powers for maintaining order at the polling station and shall report to the Commissioner any fact or incident which may, in his opinion, affect the conduct or fairness of the poll.
(2) The Returning Officer may, during the course of the poll, entrust to any Polling Officer such of his functions as may be specified by him; and it shall be the duty of the Polling Officer to perform the functions so entrusted.
(3) The Returning Officer shall authorize one of the Polling Officers to act in his place if he is, at any time during the poll, by reason of illness or other cause, not present at the polling station or is unable to perform his functions.
(4) The Returning Officer may, at any time during the poll, for reasons to be recorded in writing, suspend any Polling Officer and make such arrangement as he may consider necessary for the performance of the functions of the Officer so suspended.
(5) It shall be the duty of a Returning Officer to do all such acts and things as may be necessary for effectively conducting an election in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules.
CONDUCT OF ELECTION
9. Supply of list of voters.–The Commissioner shall provide the Returning Officer with a list of voters of the Assembly.
10. Notification for election.–(1) For the purpose of an election, the Commissioner shall, by notification in the official Gazette, call upon the members of the Assembly to elect such number of members to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council as is specified in such notification.
(2) The Commissioner shall in the same notification fix–
(a) a day for the nomination of candidates;
(b) a day for the scrutiny of nomination papers;
(c) a day on or before which candidature may be withdrawn; and
(d) a day for the taking of the poll and the place at which the poll shall be taken.
11. Nomination for election.–(1) A voter may propose or second the name of any person qualified for election to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council.
(2) Every nomination shall be made by a separate nomination paper in the prescribed form signed both by the proposer and the seconder and shall, on solemn affirmation made and signed by the candidate accompany–
(a) a declaration that he has consented to the nomination and that he fulfils the qualifications specified in Article 37(1) of the Order and is not subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 37(2) thereof or any other law for the time being in force for being elected as a Member;
(b) a declaration about his party affiliation, if any;
(c) a declaration that no loan for an amount of two million rupees or more, which continues on or after the promulgation of this Ordinance or has been obtained after the promulgation of this Ordinance, obtained from any bank, financial institution, cooperative society or corporate body in his own name or in the name of his spouse or any of his dependents, or any business concern mainly owned by him or the said loan stands unpaid for more than one year from the due date, or has got such loan written off;
(d) a declaration that he, his spouse or any of his dependents or a business concern mainly owned by him or the aforesaid, is not in default in payment of government dues or utility charges, including telephone, electricity, gas and water charges of an amount in excess of ten thousand rupees, for over six months, at the time of filing of nomination papers;
(e) a statement specifying his educational qualifications, occupation, National Identity Card number and National Tax Number, if any, along with attested copies thereof; and
(f) a statement of his assets and liabilities and those of his spouse and dependents on the prescribed form as on the preceding thirtieth day of June;
Explanation.–For the purpose of this section, the expression:–
(i) “loan” shall mean any loan, advance, credit or finance obtained after the 9th September, 2009 and which continues to be a liability on or after the promulgation of this Ordinance or is obtained after the promulgation of this Ordinance but shall not include the loan the recovery of which has been stayed or suspended by any order of a Court or tribunal, including the High Courts and the Supreme Court of Pakistan or Chief Court and Supreme Appellate Court Gilgit-Baltistan, as the case may be;
(ii) “mainly owned” shall mean holding or controlling a majority interest in a business concern;
(iii) “taxes” include all taxes levied by Government of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan Council, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Provincial Governments or local government, but shall not include taxes the recovery of which has been stayed or suspended by any order of a Court or tribunal; and
(iv) “government dues and utility charges” shall, inter alia, include rent, charges of rest houses or lodges owned by Government of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan Council, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Provincial Governments or local government, or corporations established or controlled by such governments, but shall not include the government dues and utilities charges, the recovery of which has been stayed or suspended by any order of a Court or tribunal.
(3) Every nomination paper shall be delivered by the candidate in person to the Returning Officer who shall acknowledge receipt of the nomination paper specifying the date and time of receipt.
(4) A person may be nominated by more than one nomination papers.
(5) Every proposal shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the relevant extract from the electoral roll in which the name of the person nominated is enrolled.
(6) The nomination form and accompanying declarations and statements shall be open to inspection by the public, and thereof may be made available by the Commission in such manner and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed.
12. Deposit.–(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), no nomination paper delivered under Section 11 shall be accepted unless–
(a) a sum of two thousand rupees is deposited in cash by the candidate or by any person on his behalf at the time of its delivery; and
(b) it is accompanied by a receipt of payment by the candidate or by any person on his behalf at any branch of the National Bank of Pakistan or at a Government treasury or sub-Treasury located in Gilgit-Baltistan.
(2) Not more than one deposit under sub-section (1) shall be required in the case of a person who has been nominated as a candidate by more than one nomination papers.
13. Scrutiny.–(1) The candidates, their proposers and seconders and an agent authorized in writing in this behalf by each candidate, may attend the scrutiny of the nomination papers, and the Returning Officer shall give them reasonable opportunity for examining all nomination papers delivered to him under Section 11.
(2) The Returning Officer shall, in the presence of the persons attending the scrutiny under sub-section (1), examine the nomination papers and decide any objection raised by any such person to any nomination.
(3) The Returning Officer may, either of his own motion or upon any objection, conduct such summary inquiry as he may, think fit and reject any nomination paper if he is satisfied that–
(a) the candidate is not qualified to be elected as a Member;
(b) the proposer or the seconder is not qualified to subscribe to the nomination paper
(c) any provision of Section 11 or Section 12 has not been complied with or submits any false or incorrect declaration or statement in any material particular ; or
(d) the signature of the proposer or seconder is not genuine,
(i) the rejection of a nomination paper shall not invalidate the nomination of a candidate by any other valid nomination paper;
(ii) the Returning Officer shall not reject a nomination paper on the ground of any defect which is not of a substantial nature and may allow any such defect to be remedied forthwith; and
(iii) the Returning Officer shall not inquire into the correctness or validity of any entry in the electoral roll.
(4) The Returning Officer may, for the purpose of scrutiny, require any agency or authority to produce any document or record.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3), where a candidate deposits any amount of loan, tax or utility charges payable by him before rejection of his nomination paper on the ground of default in payment of such loan, taxes or utility charges, such nomination paper shall not be rejected for default thereof.
(6) The Returning Officer shall endorse on each nomination paper his decision accepting or rejecting it and shall, in the case of rejection, record a brief statement of the reasons thereof.
(7) Where the nomination of a candidate has been rejected under this section by a Returning Officer, an appeal shall lie, within two days of the scrutiny day, to the Commissioner and any order passed by the Commissioner for such member, as the case may be, on such appeal shall be final:
Provided that where a nomination paper is rejected by the Returning Officer on the ground that the candidate is a defaulter of loan or taxes or government dues or utility charges or has had the loan written off and the candidate pays such loan or, as the case may be, taxes, government dues or utility charges or the written off loan on or before the last date fixed for disposal of appeals and satisfies the Commissioner that such payment has been made, his nomination shall be treated as having been accepted on that ground.
(8) If the Commissioner on the basis of information or material coming to his knowledge from any source is satisfied that a candidate whose nomination paper has been accepted is a defaulter of loans, taxes, government dues or utility charges or has had any loan written off or is subject to any other disqualification from being elected as a Member, he may, on his own motion, call upon such candidate to show-cause why his nomination should not be rejected, and if he is satisfied that the candidate is defaulter as aforesaid or has had a loan written off or is subject to any disqualification, he may reject his nomination paper.
14. Publication of the list of candidates.–(1) The Returning Officer shall, after the scrutiny of nomination papers, prepare and publish in the prescribed manner a list of candidates who have been validly nominated.
(2) In case an appeal against rejection of a nomination paper is accepted by the Commissioner, the list of validly nominated candidates shall be revised accordingly.
15. Withdrawals.–(1) Any validly nominated candidate may, by notice in writing signed by him and delivered on or before the withdrawal day to the Returning Officer either by such candidate in person or by an agent authorized by him in writing in this behalf, withdraw his candidature.
(2) A notice of withdrawal under sub-section (1) shall, in no circumstances, be open to recall or cancellation.
(3) On receiving a notice of withdrawal under sub-section (1), the Returning Officer shall, if he is satisfied that the signature on the notice is that of the candidate, cause a copy of the notice to be affixed at some conspicuous place in his office.
(4) The Returning Officer shall, on the day next following the withdrawal day, prepare and publish in the prescribed manner a list of contesting candidates and forward a copy thereof to each such candidate, giving public notice of the date, hour and place of the poll.
16. Death of a candidate after nomination.–(1) If a validly nominated candidate who has not withdrawn his candidature dies before the completion of the proceedings relating to the election, the Returning Officer shall, by public notice, terminate such proceedings and make a report to the Commissioner.
(2) Where the proceedings relating to an election have been terminated under sub-section (1), fresh proceedings shall be commenced in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance as if for a new election.
17. Postponement, etc., under certain circumstances.–Where the proceedings relating to nomination, scrutiny or withdrawal cannot, for reasons beyond the control of the Returning Officer, take place on the day appointed, he may postpone or adjourn such proceedings and shall, with the approval of the Commissioner, by public notice fix another day for the proceedings so postponed or adjourned, and, if necessary, also the day or days for any subsequent proceedings.
18. Uncontested election.–(1) Where after scrutiny under Section 13 or withdrawal under Section 15, the number of validly nominated candidates or, as the case may be, the contesting candidates is less than or equal to the number of seats to be filled, the Returning Officer shall, by public notice declare such candidates to be elected to the seats and send a return of election to the Commissioner:
Provided that if after scrutiny any candidate indicates that he intends to file an appeal under sub-section (5) of Section 13 against the rejection of his nomination paper, no person shall be declared elected uncontested until the period for filling such appeal has expired and no such appeal has been filed, or where an appeal is filed, until the disposal of such appeal.
(2) The Commissioner shall publish in the official Gazette the names of the returned candidates.
(3) Where the number of candidates declared elected under sub-section (1) is less than the number of seats to be filled, fresh proceedings shall be commenced in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance as if for a new election, to fill the seat or, as the case may be, scats remaining vacant.
19. Contested election.–If after withdrawal, if any, the number of candidates exceeds the number of seats, the Returning Officer shall, on the appointed day, conduct the poll, after giving a notice thereof to the contesting candidates.
20. Hours of poll.–The Returning Officer shall, subject to any direction of the Commissioner, fix the hours during which the poll shall be taken and give public notice of the hours so fixed.
21. Absence of candidates, etc., not to invalidate Ordinances, etc,– Where any act or thing is required or authorized by this Ordinance to be done in the presence of a candidate or an agent authorized by him in writing in this behalf, the failure of such person to attend at the time and place appointed for the purpose shall not invalidate any act or thing otherwise validly done.
22. Adjourned poll.–(1) If at any time the poll is interrupted or obstructed for reasons beyond the control of the Returning Officer, he may stop the poll and, when he so stops the poll, shall inform the Commissioner of his having done so.
(2) Where a poll is stopped under sub-section (1), the Returning Officer shall immediately report the circumstances to the Commissioner and as soon as may be, appoint with the approval of the Commissioner, a day for a fresh poll and fix the place at which, and the hours during which, such fresh poll shall be taken.
(3) All voters shall be allowed to vote at the fresh poll taken under sub-section (2) and no vote cast at the poll stopped under sub-section (1) shall be counted.
23. Voting procedure.–(1) All voters shall be entitled to vote at an election.
(2) No vote shall be given by proxy.
(3) Each voter shall have only one transferable vote irrespective of the number of seats to be filled.
(4) A voter shall cast his vote in the prescribed manner.
(5) The ballot papers shall be in such form as the Commissioner may specify.
(6) The polls shall be by secret ballot.
24. Proceedings at the close of poll.–(1) Immediately after the close of poll, the Returning Officer shall proceed with the counting of votes in the prescribed manner.
(2) On the completion of counting, the Returning Officer shall prepare and certify a return of the election and submit the same to the Commissioner in the prescribed manner.
(3) Every returned candidate shall, within five days from the date of election, submit return of election expenses in accordance with the provisions of Section 30.
25. Declaration of result of election.–On receipt of the returns of the election under sub-section (3) of Section 24, the Commission shall publish in the official Gazette the names of the returned candidates:
Provided that the name of a candidate shall not be published who fails to submit the return of election expenses as required by sub-section (3) of Section 24.
26. Yearly submission of statements of assets and liabilities.–(1) Every member shall, in the prescribed form, submit a statement of assets and liabilities of his own, his spouse and dependents annually to the Commissioner by the thirtieth day of September each year.
(2) The statements of assets and liabilities submitted under sub-section (1) shall be published in the Official Gazette and copies thereof may be obtained on payment of prescribed fee.
(3) The Commissioner shall, by the fifteenth day of October each year, notify the names of the members who fail to file statements of assets and liabilities within the period specified in sub-section (1) and, by an order, direct that such member shall cease to function till such statement is submitted.
(4) Where a member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under sub-section (1) which is found to be false in material particulars, he may be proceeded under Section 64 for committing the offence of corrupt practice.
27. Return or forfeiture of deposit.–(I) After the termination of the proceedings relating to an election under Section 16 where the proceedings have been so terminated, or after the declaration of result of an election under Section 18 or Section 25, the deposit made under Section 12 in respect of any candidate shall be returned to the person making it or to his legal representative, except the deposit in respect of a candidate for whom no voter, has cither voted or indicated any preference.
(2) A deposit which is not required to be returned under sub-section (I) shall be forfeited to the Gilgit-Baltistan Council.
28. Election expenses.–In this Chapter, “election expenses” means any expenditure incurred or payment made, whether by way of gift, loan, advance, deposit or otherwise, for (he arrangement, conduct or benefit of, or in connection with, or incidental (o, the election of a candidate, including expenditure on account of issuing circulars or publications or otherwise presenting to the voters the candidate or his views, aims or objects, but docs not include the deposit made under Section 12.
29. Restriction on election expenses.–(1) No person shall, except to the extent provided in sub-section (2), make any payment whatsoever towards the election expenses of a candidate except to such candidate.
(2) No person other than a candidate shall incur any election expenses of the candidate;
Provided that any person may. if so authorized by a contesting candidate in writing specifying a maximum amount, to the extent of such amount; make payment for stationery, postage, telegram and other petty expenses.
(3) The election expenses of a contesting candidate shall not exceed one million and five hundred thousand rupees.
(4) A candidate shall, by a statement explain the particulars of any election expense supported by receipts and voucher of payments made thereof, except where the amount is less than five thousand rupees.
30. Return of election expenses.–(1) Every contesting candidate. other than a returned candidate, shall, within thirty days after the publication of the name of the returned candidates under Section 18 or Section 25, submit to the Returning Officer a return of election expenses in the prescribed form containing–
(a) a statement of all payments made by the contesting candidate together with all the bills and receipts;
(b) a statement of all disputed claims, if any, of which the contesting candidate is aware;
(c) a statement of all unpaid claims, if any, of which the contesting candidate is aware; and
(d) a statement of all moneys, securities or equivalent of money received from any person for the purpose of election expenses specifying the name of every such person.
(2) The return submitted under sub-section (1) shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn by the contesting candidate.
31. Inspection of returns; etc.–(1) The return and documents submitted under Section 30 shall be kept by the Returning Officer in his office or at such other convenient place as he may think fit and shall, during one year from the date of their receipt by him, be open to inspection by any person on payment of the prescribed fee.
(2) The Returning Officer shall, on an application made in this behalf and on payment of the prescribed fee, give any person copies of any return or document kept under sub-section (1) or of any part thereof.
32. Election not to be questioned except by election petition or appeal.–(1) Save as provided in Section 33, no election shall be called in question except by an election petition under Section 35.
(2) No question that can be settled in an appeal under Section 33 shall be raised by an election petition or before any Court or authority whatsoever, nor shall any question that can be raised by an election petition be raised before any Court or authority other than an Election Tribunal of Gilgit-Baltistan.
33. Appeal against count.–(1) A contesting candidate, aggrieved by any proceedings under Section 24 relating to the count, may prefer an appeal challenging the count to the Commissioner.
(2) An appeal under sub-section (1) may be made by the candidate in person, or through a person authorized in writing by the candidate in this behalf, within three days next following the date of the completion of the count under Section 24.
(3) The appeal shall be addressed to the Commissioner and shall be filed with the Commissioner.
(4) The appeal shall be in the form of a memorandum which shall state the grounds for such appeal and shall be accompanied by as many copies thereof as the number of contesting candidates at an election.
(5) The Commissioner may after giving the parties concerned an opportunity of being heard,–
(a) dismiss the appeal; or
(b) if he does not dismiss the appeal, determine the result of the election on the count of valid votes as corrected, after adjudicating upon the invalid votes, if any, and make such consequential order as may be necessary.
(6) The decision of the Commissioner on appeal under sub-section (5) shall be final.
34. Commissioner to have certain powers of a Court.–For the purpose of the disposal of an appeal under Section 33, the Commissioner shall have the same powers as are vested in a Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908), duly extended to Gilgit-Baltistan, when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, that is to say,–
(a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) compelling the discovery and production of documents, articles or things;
(c) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses;
(d) requiring the deposit of diet and travelling expenses of witnesses;
(e) receiving evidence on affidavits;
(f) granting adjournments; and
(g) summoning and examining suo moto any person whose evidence appears to be material.
35. Election petition.–An election petition shall be presented to the Commissioner within forty-five days of the publication of the result of the election in the official Gazette and shall be accompanied by a receipt showing that the petitioner has deposited a sum of two thousand rupees at any branch of the National Bank of Pakistan or at a Government Treasury or sub-Treasury in Gilgit-Baltistan in favour of the Commissioner as security for the costs of the petition.
36. Parties to the petition.–The petitioner shall join as respondents to his election petition–
(a) all contesting candidates; and
(b) any other candidate against whom any allegation, if any, of any corrupt or illegal practices is made, and shall serve personally or by registered post on each such respondent a copy of his Petition.
Explanation.–In this section and in the following provisions of this Chapter “corrupt or illegal practice; means a “corrupt practice” or an “illegal practice” within the meaning defined in Chapter VI.
37. Contents of petition.–(1) Every election petition shall contain–
(a) a precise statement of the material facts on which the petitioner relies;
(b) full particulars of any corrupt or illegal practice or other illegal practice alleged to have been committed, including as full a statement as possible of the names of the parties-alleged-to have committed such corrupt or illegal practices or illegal act and the date and place of the commission of such practice or act; and
(c) the relief claimed by the petitioner.
(2) A petitioner may claim as relief any of the following declarations; namely:–
(a) that the election of the returned candidate is void; or
(b) that the election of the returned candidate is void and that the petitioner or some other person has been duly elected; or
(c) that the election as a whole is void.
(3) Every election petition and every schedule or annex to that petition shall be signed by the petitioner and verified in the manner laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908), duly extended to Gilgit-Baltistan, for the verification of pleadings.
38. Procedure on receipt of petition by the Commissioner.–(1) The Commissioner shall return an election petition to the petitioner if he finds that it has not been presented within the time specified in Section 35 or is not accompanied by a receipt of the deposit required to be made under that section.
(2) If an election petition is not returned under sub-section (1), the Commissioner shall refer it for trial to the Election Tribunal.
39. Appointment of Tribunal.–(1) For the trial of election petitions under this Ordinance the Commissioner shall appoint as many Election Tribunals as may be necessary.
(2) A Tribunal shall consist of a person who is a Judge of the Chief Court, Gilgit-Baltistan.
40. Power to transfer petition.–(1) The Commissioner, either of his own motion or on an application made in this behalf by any of the parties, may, at any stage, transfer an election petition from one Tribunal to another Tribunal, and the Tribunal to which the election petition is so transferred shall proceed with the trial of the petition from the stage at which it is transferred:
Provided that the Tribunal to which an election petition is so transferred may, if it thinks fit, recall and examine any of the witnesses already examined.
41. Place of trial.–The trial of an election petition shall be held at such place or places as the Tribunal may think fit.
42. Advocate-General to assist the Tribunal.–The Advocate-General for Gilgit-Baltistan shall, if a Tribunal so requires, assist the Tribunal at the hearing of an election petition in such manner as it may require.
43. Appearance before Tribunal.–Any appearance, application or act before a Tribunal may be made or done by a party in person or by an advocate or any other person entitled or allowed to plead in a Civil Court and duly appointed to act on his behalf:
Provided that the Tribunal may, where it considers it necessary, direct any party to appear in person.
44. Procedure before Tribunal.–(1) Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance and the rules, every election petition shall be tried in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Commissioner.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, the provisions of the law relating to evidence, as in force in Gilgit-Baltistan for the time being, shall apply for the trial of an election petition.
(3) The Tribunal may, at any time, upon such terms and on payment of such fee as it may direct, allow a petition to be amended in such manner as may, in its opinion, be necessary for ensuring a fair and effective trial and for determining the real questions at issue, however no new ground of challenge to the election shall be permitted to be raised.
(4) At any time during the trial of an election petition, the Tribunal may call upon the petitioner to deposit such further sum by way of security, in addition to the sum deposited under Section 35, as it may think fit.
45. Dismissal of petition during trial.–The Tribunal shall dismiss an election petition, if,–
(a) the provisions of Section 36 or Section 37 have not been complied with; or
(b) the petitioner fails to make the further deposit required under sub-section (4) of Section 44.
46. Powers of the Tribunal.–(1) The Tribunal shall have all the powers of a civil Court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908), duly extended to Gilgit-Baltistan, and shall be deemed to be a civil Court within the meaning of Section 476, 480 and 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898), duly extended to Gilgit-Baltistan.
(2) For the purpose of enforcing attendance of witnesses, the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal shall be the territories to which this Ordinance extends.
47. Further provision relating to evidence and witnesses.–(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, no document shall be inadmissible in evidence at the trial of an election petition only on the ground-that it is not duly stamped or registered.
(2) No witness shall be excused from answering any question as to any matter in issue, or relevant to a matter in issue, in the trial of an election petition upon the ground that the answer to such question may incriminate or tend to incriminate him or that it may expose or tend to expose him to any penalty or forfeiture, but no witness shall be required or permitted to state for whom he has voted at an election.
(3) A witness who answers truly all questions which he is required to answer shall be entitled to receive a certificate of indemnity from the Tribunal and an answer given by him to a question put by or before the Tribunal shall not, except in the case of any criminal proceeding for perjury in respect of his evidence, be admissible in evidence against him in any civil or criminal proceedings.
(4) A certificate of indemnity granted to any witness under sub-section (3) may be pleaded by him in any Court and shall be a full and complete defense to or upon any charge under Chapter IX-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (XLV of 1860), duly extended to Gilgit-Baltistan, or under this Ordinance arising out of the matter to which such certificate relates but it shall not be deemed to relieve him from any disqualification in connection with an election imposed by any law for the time being in force.