Supreme Court rejects PTI plea to suspend ECP ruling on Daska by-poll
As the proceedings began on Tuesday, the PTI’s counsel urged the bench to suspend the ECP decision which was rejected by Justice Bandial, who remarked “Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is a constitutional institution.”
Justice Bandial further said “The re-election will be held anyway. The court will only decide whether it will be held in the whole constituency or in limited polling stations.”
He further said “We will hear the case as the apex court respects the Election Commission.”
The ECP told the apex court that the polls were made controversial by deploying selected officers in the area.
On March 5, the PTI had challenged in the Supreme Court the ECP’s decision of re-election in NA-75 Daska after declaring as null and void the outcome of the February 19 by-election. PTI candidate in the by-election Asjad Malhi had filed a petition in the apex court, pleading the court to nullify the ECP’s decision.
In his petition, Malhi contended that the ECP did not take into account the facts while pronouncing the decision since it did not properly scrutinize the available record. “And, therefore, there is no logic behind election commission’s decision of re-election in the entire constituency,” the PTI candidate said, and added re-polling in the constituency amounted to again creating law and order situation for the people of that constituency.
The by-election, which was held in NA-75, Daska on February 19, was marred by complaints of violence and rigging. The PML-N had accused the government of trying to rig the election by kidnapping 20 presiding officers along with the relevant record.
The presiding officers remained missing all night only to return to the constituency the next morning.
Announcing its decision, the Election Commission said after examining all the evidence and statements it concluded that the by-election in NA-75 was not free, fair and transparent.
The ECP also cited reports of clashes and violence in ordering re-election in all the polling stations of NA-75.
Amanat Gishkori reported this news.