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January 21, 2014
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Qaim’s plea against verification of votes dismissed

January 21, 2014

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Karachi
The Sindh High Court (SHC) dismissed the petitions of the chief minister and two other PPP legislators on Monday against an election tribunal’s orders to verify the votes cast in the May 11 elections in three provincial and national assemblies’ constituencies.
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP MNA Nawab Ali Wasan had challenged Karachi tribunal’s proceedings and its orders for the verification of thumb impressions on the votes cast for provincial assembly seat PS-29 an National Assembly seat NA-215 Khairpur.
The tribunal had issued the orders on December 6 on a petition of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Syed Ghous Ali Shah, who had levelled rigging allegations against Shah and Wasan and challenged their victories.
The petitioners’ counsel, Farooq H Naek, submitted that the verification of thumb impressions would not help the tribunal in deciding the case and would instead cause an unnecessary delay in the proceedings.
He said the tribunal did not consider the facts while looking into the allegations and passed orders for the verification of votes of all polling stations by the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra), which, he said, was uncalled for and liable to be set aside.
The PML-N candidate’s lawyer, Mohammad Aslam Bhutta, argued that the PPP lawmakers’ petitions were not maintainable as the Supreme Court was the only forum to entertain appeals against the tribunal’s orders. He asked that the petitions be dismissed.
A larger bench of the high court, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, observed that the court had already dismissed identical petitions against the tribunal’s orders under Article 225 of the constitution, and dismissed them as not maintainable.
However, Justice Akhtar extended the interim stay orders of the tribunal’s orders for two more weeks on the request of the petitioners’ counsel, who wanted to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
He clarified that such stays

would end after two weeks without any further order being required by the court unless some order was passed by the Supreme Court on the instant appeal.
Shah and Wasan were declared returned candidates after they secured 44,362 and 91809 votes respectively against the PML-N candidate, who got 29,953 and 66,481 votes.
Meanwhile, the SHC dismissed as not maintainable a petition of another PPP MNA, Roshan Din Junejo, against the election tribunal’s order to verify thumb impressions on the votes cast during the election to National Assembly seat NA-236.
However, the court extended the interim stay of the tribunal’s order for two more weeks on the request of the petitioner’s counsel, who wanted to file appeal in the Supreme Court.
Junejo, who had assailed the tribunal’s order, submitted that he was declared returned candidate on a Pakistan People Party’s ticket, but the election results were challenged by the rival candidate of the PML-Functional, Imamdin Shoqeen, before the tribunal in Hyderabad.
He said the tribunal allowed his rival candidate’s plea for the verification of votes through Nadra though he had failed to produce sufficient evidence of rigging.

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