SC upholds revoting in five Lakki Marwat polling stations
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The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding conducting re-poll at five polling stations in Lakki Marwat tehsil throwing out an appeal against the ECP decision, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial heard the appeal on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court expressed its annoyance over the election commission lamenting that it had failed to formulate rules for hearing cases though many decades had passed since it was granted semi-judicial rights.
“It’s a clear failure of the election commission if it could not articulate rules after a passage of several years”, the court observed ordering the ECP to formulate rules as soon as possible and got them published.
The court further said that the ECP enjoys vast rights which grant it the power to interfere in the polling and its results. But the ECP must have substantial material in its possession while using its rights, it added.
The ECP presented the report of its re-polling decision in the Supreme Court on the latter’s order.
JI candidate and petitioner Aziz Ullah’s counsel Latif Khosa told the court that a total 30.6% votes were cast in the constituency of his candidate and he won the election after securing 16,696 votes. While his runner-up JUI-F candidate got 16,145 votes, the lawyer said adding that in the re-polling, candidates of all other political parties would join their forces and try to defeat his client.
Khosa further argued that the murder that took place in the constituency on the eve of polling, it was quite far from the polling station. He said if this was the case, then the ECP should order for the re-polling in all constituencies.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Bandial remarked that the ECP had a prerogative to keep open some constituencies or polling stations.
But Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that the ECP was exceeding his authority while using its rights under Article 9 of the Election Commission Election Act.
Justice Bandial, however, said that that the ECP enjoys vast rights and it could order for revote within 60 days. He cautioned against saying something harsh which might affect the ECP’s limits.
Reporter Imanat Gishkori