SC stays Daska re-polling on April 10 | The Express Tribune


ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday stayed the Daska NA-75 re-polling that was scheduled to take place on April 10.

Apex bench member Justice Umar Ata Bandial told Counsel Salman Akram, lawyer of PML-N candidate Noshin Iftikhar Raja that he had raised important points during the proceedings.

“Satisfy the court on questions raised by it,” the justice said.” The bench is not available for a few days due to personal reasons.”

Apart from the Election Commission, other parties also have to be heard now, the Supreme Court said

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the case indefinitely.

During the proceedings, Raja presented a complete map of Daska district before court.

There are 76 polling stations in Daska city, Raja said adding that complaints came from 34 out of 76 polling stations.

“ECP identified 34 polling stations, 20 presiding officers also missing,” he further prayed.

Justice Bandial remarked it was also informed that polling at 10 polling stations was suspended for a long time.

“Who and what kept creating these problems on the polling day?” the justice asked.

The counsel prayed that his client’s father had been elected five times from Daska and her family has more influence in the constituency.

“Nosheen Iftikhar had 46,000 votes from Daska city while PTI candidate had 11,000 votes,” he said.

Counsel Raja prayed that a petition was also filed in the ECP against the election results adding that turnout is traditionally higher in Daska than in other areas.

“You have to prove why re-election is necessary in the entire constituency on the complaint of 23 polling stations, Justice Bandial said.

The PML-N’s counsel further prayed that complaints were received from half of the polling stations in the constituency to which Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that voters of 76 polling stations are not half.

“I am sorry, voters of 76 polling stations make up one third,” the counsel replied. “Presiding officers went out with the police as usual. They came back together and were scared.”

Daska polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan had earlier declared the by-poll held on February 19 in the constituency as void and ordered a fresh election on March 18 which was last rescheduled to take palce on April 10.

The ECP issued a short order, signed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and four commission members, Justice (retd) Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi, Justice (retd) Mrs Irshad Qaisar, Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhamad Jatoi.

The ECP said the election in the constituency had not been conducted in a transparent manner, incidents of murders, firing and injuries, bad law and order situation and other circumstances led to the whole process being doubtful.

PTI plea

Last week the apex court rejected once again the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s plea seeking suspension of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision to hold re-polls in NA-75 (Daska).

Justice Umar Ata Bandial noted that the ECP ordered re-polling in the constituency over violation of law. He said that as per the details provided, 20 presiding officers were missing until the next morning.

Moreover, the top court observed, that all the confrontation took place in the urban areas of the constituency.

The judge maintained that the detailed decision of the ECP and their response were of significant importance.

Earlier, on March 16, the SC had rejected PTI’s NA-75 candidate Asjad Ali Malhi’s plea seeking the suspension of the ECP’s order.

The judge had stated that he respected the constitutional institution and could not suspend its orders, but court would decide whether it should be held in the entire constituency or at a few polling stations.

 

(This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly)



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