LHC dismisses plea against horse-trading in Senate polls

February 13, 2021

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking direction for the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure there is no horse-trading in the upcoming Senate...

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking direction for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure there is no horse-trading in the upcoming Senate elections.

Representing the petitioner, Advocate Azhar Siddique argued before the court that the scrutiny process for Senate elections in 2018 was defective and once again the ECP has failed to issue guidelines for the implementation of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

He said on the basis of major defects, the upcoming election for the Senate would destroy the sanctity and legality of the process. He said the political parties had been raising objections regarding rigging at the high level in the previous Senate elections.

The counsel pointed out that a recently leaked video showing some parliamentarians from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa receiving money to vote in the 2018 Senate polls put a big question mark on the transparency of the election process.

He asked the court to order the ECP to perform its functions as required under the Constitution to conduct the elections justly, fairly and in accordance with the law and also to guard against corrupt practices.

He said the ECP should be asked to apprise the court as to what has so far been done to deter corrupt practices in the future that had been brazenly committed by the parliamentarians in the previous election. The lawyer urged the court to constitute a high-powered committee for each province as well as at the federal level for the strict compliance and implementation of the constitutional provisions in Senate elections.

After hearing the arguments, Justice Asim Hafeez observed that the ECP is an independent constitutional body mandated to hold the elections. The judge said the court has no jurisdiction to interfere in the affairs of the ECP. The judge dismissed the petition as not maintainable.



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