Hearing adjourned till March 19
The Supreme Court has instructed the Election Commission to present a map of the NA-75 constituency with proper labelling of polling stations were violence and wrongdoings occurred during the February 19 by-election.
The court was hearing the appeal filed by PTI’s Ali Asjad Malhi against the electoral body’s decision to hold re-polling in the constituency.
A three-member bench, comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, has been hearing the case.
The court said, in a short order, that a day after the polling PML-N’s Syeda Nosheen Iftikhar approached the returning officer and the ECP about “irregularities committed at 20 polling stations”.
It was reported that two people were killed at a polling station and 40 polling stations were affected by aerial firing and presiding officers of 20 polling stations went missing, the order said.
The officer then conducted a preliminary inquiry had accepted her claim “only to the extent of 14 polling stations”. The ECP, however, declared the whole election ‘null and void’.
The ECP noted that “the police were silent spectators who did not
intervene to check the acts of intimidation, harassment and
the violence that took place outside the polling stations on election
The court said that it is examining “what standard of proof, quantum of evidence, scale, and severity of violations of law will warrant re-poll in the entire constituency”.
It noted that the order to re-poll may not strictly apply to this case. The hearing was adjourned till March 19, Friday.
On Thursday evening, the ECP submitted the constituency’s map and record of calls made by ECP officials to the chief secretary.
Officials telephoned the chief secretary seven times in 20 minutes but they were not answered, the ECP said in its report.