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September 30, 2015

SC stays by-poll in Jehangir Tareen’s constituency

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September 30, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday suspended the verdict given by the Election Tribunal (ET), Multan, disqualifying Siddique Khan Baloch as Member National Assembly elected from NA-154 Lodhran.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the appeal of Siddique Baloch, challenging the verdict of the Election Tribunal Multan, disqualifying him for lifetime.
After staying the ET verdict, the by-election to the NA-154 Lodhran will also not be held. It is worth mentioning that the schedule for the by-election in this and some other constituencies had already been issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
On August 26, 2015, the Multan ET, headed by Justice (retd) Rana Zahid Mahmood, had disqualified Siddique Khan Baloch as an MNA from NA-154 Lodhran and also declared his educational degree as fake and his election from the National Assembly constituency in the 2013 polls null and void and ordered a re-election.
Baloch won the 2013 general elections from the NA-154 Lodhran as an independent candidate and later joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Jehangir Tareen of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the runner-up, however, had challenged the victory of Siddique Baloch in the ET, alleging that his educational degree was bogus.
Baloch, however, had challenged his disqualification in the apex court praying for staying the verdict of the Election Tribunal and also for halting the by-election in NA-154.
Makhdom Ali Khan, former Attoreny General and counsel for Jehangir Tareen, while appearing before the court, sought time to argue before the court in the instant matter. The court asked the learned counsel to commence arguments in the matter or they could adjourn the hearing till the next week and suspend the ET ‘s verdict.
Makhdom Ali Khan, however, submitted that the court could better decide the matter but pleaded to adjourn the hearing for an indefinite time as he had to prepare the

case for arguments.
Meanwhile, the court suspended the verdict of Election Tribunal disqualifying Siddique Baloch for life besides halting the by-elections which were scheduled to be held on October 11, 2015 and adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.
Shaukat Shehzad, the counsel for the petitioner Siddique Baloch also appeared before the court.
Soon after the court ruling, Siddique Baloch, while talking to newsmen outside the Supreme Court, said that it was his right to challenge the ET verdict in the apex court in order to get justice. He claimed that his educational degree was genuine and termed the allegations of PTI’s Jehangir Tareen as baseless.
Meanwhile Jehangir Tareen, talking to reporters, said that the PML-N was hiding behind stay orders and the verdict was clear that the PTI rules hearts of the people of Pakistan. He further said that they (PTI) wanted to face the election courageously on NA-154 but the PML-N ran away from the by-elections.