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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Supreme Court halts re-polling in NA-75 Daska on April 10

ISLAMABAD  – Supreme Court (SC) on Friday has halted re-polling in NA-75 Daska on April 10 and postponed the election schedule in the constituency.

In previous hearing, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer had submitted details regarding aerial firing and scuffle in the constituency on the polling day in SC.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that two ‘heavy weights’ were contesting in NA-75. We cannot leave the nation at the mercy of these ‘heavy weights’, he added.

Earlier, SC had rejected PTI’s plea seeking suspension of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision regarding re-polling in NA-75 Daska.

ECP had submitted a report comprising map of the constituency and other important details in the court. It was mentioned in the report that on the day of by-polls, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had called chief secretary numerous times but he didn’t respond.

Firing incidents took place at 38 polling stations while 54 polling stations experienced 35 percent low turnout, the report stated.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that detailed decision of ECP and reply were of great importance. The commission had ordered re-polls in NA-75 due to violation of law, he added.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked, “The court won’t suspend ECP’s order regarding re-elections in Daska however, we have to decide whether the polling will be conducted in entire constituency or in few areas.” It’s like the commission had changed the date of the polling because of this case, he added.

ECP had submitted a reply in SC, declaring Punjab government responsible for mismanagement during by-elections in NA-75 Daska. The commission had told the apex court that the polls were made controversial by deploying selected officers in the area.

SC had turned down the plea of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking suspension of ECP’s decision regarding re-polling in NA-75 Daska.

PTI lawyer advocate Mohammad Shahzad Shaukat said that PML-N had raised objections over 23 polling stations. The returning officer said that no concerns were recorded on the results of 340 polling stations, he added.

Shahzad Shaukat adopted the stance that the commission had exceeded from its authority by ordering re-poll in NA-75 Daska.

In February 2021, the ECP had nullified by-election in NA-75 Daska and ordered to conduct re-polling in the entire constituency. The commission had first decided to hold elections on March 18 however, later, it announced a new date of April 10.

Announcing the reserved verdict, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had declared that the by-poll in the constituency was not fair and transparent. Law and order situation was disrupted while an environment of fear was also created among the locals, he added.

It is to be mentioned here that the returning officer in NA-75 Daska had withheld the by-poll results in NA-75 Daska due to violence and alleged vote fraud.

According to the unofficial results of 337 polling stations, PML-N candidate Nosheen Iftikhar (97,588 votes) was leading Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Ali Asjad Malhi (94,541 votes). However, results of 23 polling stations were delayed.
The returning officer had expressed doubts over the results of 20 polling stations in the preliminary report.

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