The Supreme Court has rejected PTI’s appeal against re-polling in NA-75 Daska.
The SC, while giving a brief verdict in the case, upheld the earlier order of the Election Commission of Pakistan for re-polling in NA-75. Voting will be conducted in the entire constituency on April 10.
The apex court concluded hearing arguments by the ECP and the PTI today (Friday).
A bench, headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial, heard the case.
PTI’s Asjad Ali Malhi, who contested the by-elections, approached the SC and challenged the ECP’s decision to hold re-polls in the entire constituency.
Earlier, the PML-N demanded re-polling in 109 ‘controversial’ polling stations of the NA-75 Daska, if not the entire constituency.
Violence had marred the NA-75 by-election which had taken place in February, as firing incidences took the lives of two people and injured a few.
Clashes between PML-N and PTI workers led to the deaths. Both parties had blamed each other for the violence, after which the Election Commission of Pakistan ordered re-polling in the entire constituency.
During Friday’s hearing, Justice Bandial said the situation was not under control in the constituency on the day of polling.
More to follow….
Re-polling in NA-75 suspended
In an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court had suspended the ECP’s order to hold re-polling in the constituency on April 10.
The bench had said the court needed more time to decide the case. “At the moment, we are hearing Salman Akram Raja’s [the PML-N candidate’s lawyer} arguments. We have to hear [the arguments of] other parties to the case apart from Nosheen Ahmed [PML-N candidate],” the court had said.
The apex court had adjourned proceedings of the case for an unspecified period. “The decision of the ECP to hold re-polling stands,” Justice Umar Ata Bandial had said. “For the moment, we are postponing the decision to hold it on April 10.”
Salman Akram Raja had presented a map of district Daska during the hearing of the case to which Justice Umar Ata Bandial had an interesting remark.
“You’ve prepared a lot of material in just a day’s time,” the judge had said.
In response, Raja pointed out there were 76 polling stations in Daska and that complaints of irregularities were reported in 34 of them.
“The ECP identified these 34 polling stations and even 20 presiding officers went missing,” he had said.
“It is even said polling was delayed at 10 polling stations for quite some time,” Justice Bandial had said. “The question is, who was behind such a move and why?”
The judge had wondered whether the irregularities took place because one candidate was strong and the other had to resort to such measures to win.
“Nosheen’s father has won from Daska five times,” Raja had argued. “Her family has a lot of influence in the city. She was supposed to poll 46,000 votes while the PTI candidate was expected to poll 11,000 votes,” he added.
Raja had said it was in the PTI candidate’s interest to mar the polls since its candidate did not stand a chance of winning the contest.