ECP asked to prove rigging of Feb 19 by-polls
The Supreme Court will conclude hearing arguments by the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the NA-75 Sialkot by-election Friday.
A bench, headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial, heard the case on Thursday.
Justice Bandial asked if the violation of electoral laws could be the reason for re-election in the entire constituency. The ECP lawyer replied that it made it look like the result of the entire constituency was affected.
PML-N lawyer Salman Akram Raja argued that a re-election was ordered when a candidate had slapped a presiding officer during an election in 2012. But the judge said the Daska case was different.
Justice Bandial asked about the measures taken by the ECP if the security arrangements in the constituency were unsatisfactory. Why was there no any alternate if the police had not been cooperative, he questioned.
The judge asked why no action was taken against the police after postponing the election. The commission should provide evidence of poll rigging, he said.
“It should prove the violation of law took place if they can’t provide evidence of it,” the judge remarked.
The ECP ordered re-polling in the constituency after opposition members challenged the February 19 by-election results.
The PML-N accused the ruling PTI of attempting to rig the polls after some presiding members went missing during the vote count.
The officers returned with the results on the morning of February 20. They claimed that they had left early because “the fog was too dense”.
The electoral body heard the objections rose by opposition members and ruled that the by-election was neither fair nor just.
The re-election in the constituency is scheduled for April 10.