SC asks ECP reasons for its order for repolling in KP constituency

By: News Desk
Published: 12:40 PM, 3 Feb, 2022
SC asks ECP reasons for its order for repolling in KP constituency
Caption: File photo.
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The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to explain the reasons which led to its order for repolling for the seat of a chairman in the local bodies’ elections held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) recently, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the petition filed against the ECP’s order.

The CJP emphasized that the state institutions should be independent in their decision-making, and they should not be under any kind of duress. “We want to demarcate the jurisdiction of the ECP,” he added. 

Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Kamran Murtaza said that the election commission had given the order for re-polling following voting in tehsil Sarai Naurang of district Lakki Marwat had to be stopped on account of the deterioration of law and order situation, while Latif Khosa, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that voting in only one polling station was disturbed, and it was the business as usual in rest of the polling stations.    

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked Khosa as to what was his opinion on the incident of firing at the gate of women’s polling station. “The returning officer’s (RO) report says that the law and order situation had deteriorated to such an extent in the constituency that voting had to be stopped and re-polling was deemed necessary,” the judge said, adding that even one person was killed due to firing.   

He further said that so scared were the women that they did not come out to vote on the day.  

The petitioner’s counsel said he believed in the independence of the ECP. “But at the same time I want to emphasize that its report is not fair,” he added. 

Addressing Khosa, CJP Bandial remarked that there were 108 polling stations in the constituency, and your client had won that election. 

At that moment, DG Law Commission prayed to the court to give the ECP time to submit its reply in the case, while the petitioner’s counsel, on the other hand, requested the court to give its decision before February 13 as re-polling was due to be held on that date.    

The court adjourned hearing of the case until February 8. 

The ECP had, on December 31, 2021, ordered that votes be cast again in district Lakki Marwat’s constituency.  

Reporter Amanat Gishkori