ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on the plea of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has directed Election Commission of Pakistan to submit thumb verification report on NA constituencies 125 and 154 in 15 days.
The Court has also summoned the report from Secretary Election Commission regarding all the cases pending with election tribunals.
Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Tasaduq Hussain Jilani and comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan took up the miscellaneous appeal filed by PTI’s Additional Secretary Saifullah Nayazi for thumb verification on four constituencies of National Assembly from NADRA.
Imran Khan had filed petition against the alleged rigging in May 11 election and vehemently demanded thumb verification of voters for fair results.
During Monday’s proceedings, the bench accepted the plea for vote recount and ordered the secretary Election Commission to present the report of four constituencies within 15 days. The court also instructed the Election Tribunal of Lahore and Multan to present their respective reports in 15 days and said that the court can’t comment if the rigging occurred or not.
The court has summoned the report over its previous order for verification of votes through thumb impression on NA-154 in 21 days. The court has summoned reply from secretary election commission that why the tribunals did not dispose of the complaints in 120 days. The court in its order said that it could not give any comments on merit regarding the matter, adding that the court will review the matter whether the matter comes under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and if court will take up this issue it will be interference in the jurisdiction of tribunals.
Newly appointed CJ Jillani remarked that the matter is not limited to four constituencies as others can also approach the apex court with the same appeal in case the court issued any verdict in the present case. He said all people say why verdict was issued in favour of specific party. Chief justice said they respect Imran Khan as player and common citizen of the country. Chief justice said he has already given statement in full court reference that the limits of the article 184-3 would be settled.
While presenting the arguments the counsel of Imran Khan, Hamid Khan said that PTI has approached the SC because the mandate of the PTI was stolen in country especially in Punjab. He said that the court should order thumb verification on four seats.
He said that the court should order NADRA to conduct thumb verification. He said that the orders of the Election Commission and Supreme Court were violated. He said that the rigging was done in 11 May polls. Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan said PTI could secure relief on the proper forum. He said court could not cross its limits regarding the matter.
PTI chief Imran Khan was also present in the court and while arguing, he said that vote is the fundamental right of every citizen and that is why he has approached the SC so that the rigging could be proved.
Imran said he was Pakistani and approached the court for the rights of the people of Pakistan.
He said all parties leveled allegation of rigging in previous elections. He said that the future of democracy in country depends on transparent elections. He said if the thumb verification is done the results of the polls would be changed.
While partially accepting the plea for hearing the SC has ordered the Election Commission’s secretary to submit para-vise reply over verification of votes of four constituencies including NA-125, NA-154 during general elections within 15 days. The court will take up PTI petitions for hearing after two weeks.