No Polling on NA-125, PP-155: SC suspends Election Tribunal Verdict
LAHORE: Supreme Court (SC) on Monday suspended an election tribunal’s verdict pertaining to the re-elections in constituencies NA-124 and PP-155 after irregularities were found in the records of the May 2013 general elections.
The court also summoned all records of cases from the election tribunal and issued notices to all respondents including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) candidate Hamid Khan.
An election tribunal had passed orders for re-polling in NA- 125 due to ‘some irregularities’ which Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Khawaja Saad Rafique challenged in the SC and announced that he would participate in the re-polls and contest elections from the constituency once again.
During the hearing, Khawaja Haris, counsel for PML-N leader submitted that the tribunal verdict was not in accordance with the law. After hearing his preliminary arguments, the bench suspended the tribunal’s verdict and adjourned the hearing for four weeks.
While suspending the tribunal’s verdict, the apex court also reinstated Rafique to his post as the railway minister.
In his appeal before the SC, Rafique claimed the decision of the tribunal was based on “mere conjectures and surmises” instead of any material evidence.
He contended that his opponent, PTI’s Hamid Khan, failed to provide any evidence of the plaintiff’s collusion with the election staff and could not prove any illegalities during the two years of the tribunal’s proceedings.
Concluding, he termed the conclusions drawn by the tribunal judge “not sustainable in the eye of law” and further claimed that he and his electorates had been penalised for faults of the returning officers and the election staff, who failed to perform their duties efficiently.
Speaking to the media, Rafique claimed that he was targeted by Imran Khan and Hamid Khan.
“According to the decision, all accusations on me have been proved wrong,” he said.
“My father has made many sacrifices, being an honest politician is in my blood. and these allegations of rigging and dishonesty have been very embarrassing for me,” the PML-N leader added.
Muhammad Hussain, counsel for petitioner Hamid Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, earlier requested the tribunal to set aside the notification and order a re-election in the constituency.
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