PS-22 poll case: ECP, others noticed on petition against Election Tribunal

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday once again issued fresh notice to Election Commission of Pakistan and other respondents on a petition of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) lawmaker challenging order of Sukkur Election Tribunal for recounting of votes in constituency (PS-22) in Naushehro Feroz.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar was seized with hearing of petition filed by PPP lawmaker Abdul Sattar Rajpar, assailing the order of Election Tribunal.

Earlier a bench had suspended the operation of an order issued by Sukkur Election Tribunal that sought recounting of votes cast in polling stations of provincial assembly constituency (PS-22) in Naushehro Feroz.

The petitioner represented by advocate Shazia Hanjrah submitted that he was declared successful candidate by ECP in general elections. He said that his rival candidate filed petition in SHC for recounting, which was allowed by it and NPP candidate was declared successful.

After that PPPP candidate Sattar Rajpar challenged this result in the Supreme Court of Pakistan requesting to hold recounting once more.

Accordingly the recounting was held in the office of the District Returning Officer Naushehro Feroze and the PPPP candidate got 29,384 votes while the NPP candidate Arif Jatoi secured 29,371. Thus the PPPP candidate was declared as the winner in the recounting held for the fourth time.

The petitioner said that his rival candidate filed election petition in ECP requesting for holding again recounting of votes in polling stations of PS-22 constituency, which according to petitioner was allowed by election tribunal on January 09, 2014, and ordered recounting of votes.

He said that he was dissatisfied with the tribunal’s judgment as it was against the election laws because the exercise of recounting of votes was already undertaken. He stated that the impugned order was mala fide, illegal and in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed under the constitution. The case hearing was adjourned by February 20.