Fog legacy and Daska repoll

The Supreme Court maintained the ECP’s decision regarding re-polling in the entire constituency of NA-75 Sialkot-IV (Daska) while concluding the hearing of the case. A three-member bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Ali Asjad Malhi’s petition against the ECP’s decision in its short order. The ECP counsel argued that the commission’s decision was based on violations of the law, the inspector general of police Punjab and other officials did not respond to repeated calls, polling remained suspended at 13 polling stations while firing incidents also took place in the constituency. He added if all the clauses of the Election Act were not implemented, the election was considered null and void.

The court remarked that the ECP’s position that people were unable to cast votes was incorrect. Instead of remaining neutral, the ECP was hiding facts. It further said that those responsible for the disappearance should come forward, it was necessary to probe the officers, which was not done. Justice Bandial said whoever was responsible for disappearance of the presiding officers had delivered a shock to the election process. The petitioner PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi said the party would deliberate upon filing a review petition after the detailed judgment was released by the court.

Earlier, ECP announced the re-poll in whole NA-75 in the backdrop of massive irregularities, violence, and disappearances of several presiding officers due to alleged dense fog which took them more than 12 hours to appear in front of district returning officer of Sialkot. The decision was challenged by PTI candidate in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The three members Supreme Court bench sort out all details of the NA-75 by-poll election. The court took serious notice of complete absence of Punjab Police and district administration. The supreme court also snubbed the ECP for hiding facts and covering up the disappearances of Presiding Officers. Some of the analysts were suggesting PTI not to challenge the ECP’s decision in the Supreme Court because it can trigger more controversary in the issue. Their apprehensions proved to be true and the court busted on Punjab government and Police for their absence in the fog. It is suggestable to PTI candidate not to go for review of the decision otherwise it would further expose the facts concealed behind the fog.

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The Frontier Post

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