Rejecting the appeal filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf , the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan, ordering re-polling in an entire constituency of NA-75 Daska.
Earlier, the ECP had declared the by-election, held in the constituency on February 19, as null and void while ordering the re-election. Later the ruling party (PTI) had filed an appeal against the ECP’s decision.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial had taken up the appeal and announced the verdict against it.
“The court has taken the decision in light of the law, the Constitution and its own jurisdiction [….] guidelines will be issued to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Justice Bandial remarked in the short order as a detailed verdict is expected to be issued later.
Justice Bandial also added that the situation was not under control in the constituency on the day of polling. Now, the ECP has been told to hold re-polling in NA-75 Daska on April 10.
Reacting to the verdict, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter and said that once again it had been proved that Imran Khan and his “fake” government had “robbed the people’s vote”.
“These roobers will have to answer for stealing the people’s votes and kidnapping the ECP staff,” she alleged.
Meanwhile PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi said that PTI would think about filing a review petition after the detailed judgement was released. “We are confident about beating the PML-N,” Malhi added.
During the NA-75 by-election, an unprecedented violence took two lives following clashes between voters and police across the constituency. There were also reports of disappearance of some presiding officers, which, PML-N alleged, was an attempt to alter the election results in the “favour of the ruling party”.
One of the victims was reportedly a member of the ruling PTI while the other belonged to the PML-N, Dawn reported.
The seat of NA-75 fell vacant after the demise of the PML-N’s Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah who was elected in 2018 General Election.