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August 21, 2018

SHC tells PSP to comment on maintainability of plea for fresh polls


August 21, 2018

The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the counsel for the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) to satisfy the court about the maintainability of its petition in which the defected party had challenged the counting of votes at all polling stations of Karachi’s national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies in July 25 general elections.

PSP Karachi division head Asif Husnain submitted that the Election Commission of Pakistan, its district returning officers and returning officers failed to conduct fair and transparent elections in Karachi.

The petitioner’s counsel, Hasan Sabir, submitted that returning officers and presiding officers failed to comply with the mandatory requirements of the Election Act and Election Rules as polling agents were not allowed to observe the counting of the votes and presiding officers did not prepare the results of the counts of ballot papers in the presence of the polling agents of the candidates.

The counsel stated that presiding officers did not affix the results of the counts at polling stations and forms 45 and 46 were not provided to the polling agents of the candidates. He submitted that various provisions of the Election Act 2017 and rules had been ignored and the procedure prescribed therein had not been followed.

The court was requested to declare that the counting proceedings in all polling stations of Karachi illegal and in violation of the election laws, and to direct the ECP to hold re-polling in the national and provincial assembly constituencies of the city.

The PSP also sought removal of the ECP officials from their posts as they failed to perform their duties in accordance with the election laws. A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that although the elections were over and the only recourse was to file election petitions before the election tribunal constituted under the election Act, 2017.

The petitioner’s counsel sought time to satisfy the court on the maintainability of the petition. The court adjourned the matter for a date to be fixed by the office.

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