KARACHI, May 22: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday stayed the issuance of an official notification of three winning candidates from as many provincial assembly seats.
A division bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab directed the Election Commission of Pakistan not to issue the official notification of a candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Syed Hafeezuddin, who emerged victorious in PS-93 (Banaras-Mominabad).
The election to PS-93 was challenged through separate petitions filed by the candidates of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Jamaat-i-Islami.
The PML-N candidate, Yousuf Rahman Afridi, submitted that ballot papers in the constituency contained the election symbol of giraffe instead of tiger which was his party’s symbol.
He said that he was awarded a party ticket by the PML-N and he should have been allotted the party’s election symbol, but the ECP printed giraffe on the ballot paper instead of tiger.
The petitioner stated that he had filed an application with the ECP in this respect, but the commission did not take any action on it.
He prayed to the court to restrain the ECP from issuing a notification of the successful candidate from the constituency.
The other petitioner who sought a stay on the issuance of a notification of the successful candidate from PS-93 was the defeated candidate of the JI, Abdul Razzaq.
The JI candidate alleged that results of seven polling stations of his constituency were changed.
He said that miscreants belonging to a rival political party evicted his polling agents from the polling stations and rigged the elections.
He said that ballot boxes of the seven polling stations were removed by police officials and they were later opened in the absence of his polling agents.
The petitioner stated that he moved an application to the ECP but to no avail as the commission did not decide the matter.
The bench restrained the issuance of the official notification of the winning candidate till further orders and put off the hearing to May 24.
The court restrained the ECP from issuing a notification of the successful candidate of the Pakistan People’s Party, Syed Shafqat Hussain Shah, in PS-21 in Naushahro Feroze.
The petition was filed by defeated candidate Syed Abrar Ali Shah, who submitted that he had lost the provincial assembly seat to the rival candidate with a margin of only nine votes. He alleged that workers and supporter of his rival candidate resorted to rigging in several polling stations in the constituency.
The petitioner stated that he approached the ECP for recounting of votes but the ECP did not decide his application.
The bench also restrained the ECP from issuing an official notification regarding PS-19 in Jacobabad, which was won by Muhammad Aslam Abro.
The order came on the petition of the PPP’s candidate Sardar Muqeem Khoso, who submitted that he lost the seat to his rival candidate with a margin of only 103 votes.
The petitioner stated that the elections results were prepared in violation of laws. Besides, he said, the returning officer concerned did not verify the rejected 3,057 votes.
Meanwhile, the court issued notices to the ECP and the returning officer concerned in a petition of the PML-N candidate from NA-210 in Kashmore, Mir Ghalib Hussain, against the victorious candidates belonging to the PPP.
The petitioner stated that his voters were threatened by the workers and supporters of the rival PPP candidate and his polling agents were not allowed to enter the polling stations by the police.
He alleged that the ballot boxes containing votes in his favour were destroyed by the workers and supporters of the rival candidate.