NA-75 by polls: SC upholds ECP decision for re-polling in NA-75 Daska

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ISLAMABAD:   Supreme Court (SC) while upholding the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision for re-polling in the constituency NA-75 Daska by polls has rejected PTI candidate Amjid Malhi petition.
The court issued orders for re-polling in the entire constituency Friday.

A 3-member bench of SC presided over by Justice Umar Ata Bandial took up for hearing petition filed by PTI candidate against ECP decision for re-polling in NA-75 Daska by polls Friday.

During the course of hearing of the case, Justice Umar Ata Bandial while addressing the counsel for ECP remarked ‘ narrate the legal points which are of important nature. Rely upon such documents on the basis of which the ECP gave the decision.

The counsel for the ECP while arguing took the plea that no mention is made of organized rigging in the decision of ECP. No word of organized rigging has been written by ECP. ECP decision was given due to violations of the law. IG Punjab and other authorities did not hear the telephonic calls. Polling remained suspended on 13 polling stations. The firing incidents took place in the entire constituency. If all the clauses of election act are not implemented then the election stands revoked . The then situation in the constituency reveals that several clauses of election act were violated. It is clear from the map placed in the record of the court several polling stations were set up in one building. The incidents of firing and disorder impacted not only one polling station but they affected more than one hundred polling stations. If there was unrest outside one polling station then not only one but over 100 polling stations were affected. It is clear from the situation there was no level playing field in the constituency.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial while addressing the counsel for the ECP remarked see in the dictionary what is meaning of level playing field. In your view the situation was conducive for one party and not for other party. If there was chaos then the situation was unfavorable for both the parties. You can say there was disorder. But you cannot say there was no level playing field. Take care and don’t use the words like level playing field. The ECP gave decision without hearing the administration and the situation in the constituency was worse. This is fact. It is not correct to say level playing field was not provided to all the parties for contesting the polls.

PML-N MNA Shizza Fatima kept on using mo bile phone continuously in the court room. Police stopped her from doing so and took the plea no one including the petitioners are allowed to use mobile phone in the court.

Shahzad Shaukat counsel for PTI took the plea during the hearing of the case police squads were not with the presiding officers. Only one police guard was with the presiding officer. Wireless system was not installed in the vehicles acquired privately. It is job of assistant presiding officer to provide electoral material. Why the election commission asked the presiding officers to bring record with them. It was necessary to investigate from the presiding officers which was not done . It is beyond comprehension why election commission was in so much haste. Presiding officers had brought back the electoral material. Who had taken presiding officers where. Those behind the disappearance of the presiding officers should come to public.

He argued Nosheen Iftikhar was satisfied with result of 14 out of 20 disputed polling stations. It was said a day before that Rangers was not deployed. Election commission termed the IG report wrong. It is beyond comprehension the IG report was called wrong on what basis. Turn out in Gujranwala by polls remained 47 percent. In Daska turn out remained 46.92 percent which was described less. Election commission stance is wrong that people could not come to cast votes. The turn out in NA-75 was 53 percent during general election 2018.

He continued only 5 cases of firing were registered . As per cases firing took place at 19 polling stations. On February 24 affidavit for re-polling was given. Election commission had sought reply in respect of 23 polling stations. It was must to hear police and administration in summary inquiry. The stance of all was heard in summary inquiry in the past.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked violations were committed in 20 polling stations. 2 persons were killed and one was injured during firing. Election commission failed in making proper arrangements in Daska. It is job of election commission to hold fair and transparent election. Whosoever made disappear the presiding officers he dealt a serious blow to electoral process. If results are affected then re-polling can be held.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked Rangers were only patrolling according to election commission.

DG Law election commission told the court Rangers was available at 25 polling stations.