This commission has already settled the identical matter in Appeal No. 2102-08/2022, In the case of Atif Chaudhary Vs Election Commission of Pakistan and held that searchable electoral list on a UBS can be provided to an Appellant under Section 79 (3) of the Elections Act, 2017 which is as under:
“79. Supply of final electoral rolls. — (1) The Commission shall provide the Returning Officer for each constituency with copies of final electoral rolls for all the electoral areas within that constituency.
(2) The Returning Officer shall provide the Presiding Officer of each polling station with copies of the final electoral rolls containing the names of the voters entitled to vote at that polling station.
(3) On the application of a candidate or his election agent, the District Election Commissioner or any officer authorized in this behalf by the Commission shall provide to a candidate or an election agent a hard and searchable soft copy on universal serial bus (USB) in portable document format (PDF) or any other tamper-proof format of the final electoral roll with photographs of the voters and shall ensure that the copy is the same as provided to the Returning Officer and Presiding Officers”.
This commission notes that Section 79 of the Elections Act 2017aims at ensuring free, fair and transparent conduct of electoral process by providing election agents of the candidates soft as well as hard copies of electoral roles containing names, addresses and photograph of the voters of the constituency.
This commission also holds that the disclosure of photographs of voters even to the extent of candidate, or the agent of the candidate is tantamount to the invasion of privacy of identifiable individuals, hence hit by Section 7 (g) of the Act, 2017.