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SHC stays notification of PS-81 by-election winner

July 02, 2013

KARACHI, July 1: The Sindh High Court on Monday stayed the issuance of an official notification of winning candidate Jam Madad Ali of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional on a provincial assembly seat (PS-81) in Sanghar till further orders.

A division bench, headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, heard the constitutional petition filed by Asghar Junejo of the Pakistan Peoples Party, a rival candidate who lost the seat, against rigging in the polls.

The petitioner stated that workers of the PML-F candidate rigged the by-election and threatened his voters and polling agents, who were not allowed to enter the polling stations. He alleged that the ballot boxes of 30 polling stations containing votes in his favour were not properly counted by the returning officer.

The runner-up candidate submitted that he later lodged a complaint with the returning officer, demanding re-counting on the 30 polling stations but his plea was not entertained.

He asked the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to recount votes at the 30 polling stations of his constituency. He also prayed to the court to restrain the ECP from issuing the notification of the winning candidate.

The court restrained the ECP from issuing the notification of winning candidate and directed the ECP and other respondents to file comments.

The hearing of the case was adjourned to July 5.

Hoardings removal case

The Sindh High Court on Monday restrained the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation authorities from removing hoardings along Shahrah- i-Quaideen.

A division bench headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan also issued notices to the secretary of the local government department, KMC administrator, director and advertising removal in-charge and adjourned the hearing of the case to July 7.

Petitioner Bin Yasir submitted that he had paid the licence fees of the advertisement sites along the road, as issued by the KMC, adding that he had a valid licence of the hoardings until February 2014.He told the court that the advertising removal in-charge on May 22 came to his office and informed him that a new KMC director had taken over and he should pay bribes to him. He said he was threatened by the official that if he refused to pay the bribes his hoardings would be removed.

Another petitioner, representing the Sindh Outdoor Advertisers Association, approached the court, submitting that the KMC authorities were removing the hoardings of their member agencies who had already paid licence fees for the advertisement sites.

Both petitioners said the KMC authorities would remove the hoardings on Shahrah-i-Quaideen, which was against the advertisement rules. Therefore, they requested the court to restrain the respondents from taking any action against them, and the SHC issued restraining orders.

Oath text case

The Sindh High Court on Monday issued notices to the Chief Election Commissioner, Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker for allegedly violating its orders passed in a petition seeking amendments to the text oath taken and signed by contesting candidates of elections in nomination papers.

Headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, the division bench issued notices to the alleged contemnors and adjourned the hearing of the case till July 7.

Haji Gul had submitted in his petition that the oath taken by the candidates contesting National Assembly or Senate elections in nomination papers conflicted with the Quran and Sunnah as it did not include the name of Allah.

He had requested the court to declare that the oath should be in the name of Allah and direct the authorities concerned to take measures for making legislation in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah.

The court, disposing of the petition, had ruled that oath that mentioned in nomination papers for further elections be prescribed after consideration with the Islamic Ideology Council.

In a contempt of court application, the applicant submitted that recently the ECP had announced a schedule for by-elections in 16 constituencies of the National Assembly, adding that it had announced that nomination papers would be issued on June 25.He contended that the ECP had flouted the court orders by issuing nomination papers without consulting the matter with the IIC. Therefore, he asked the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the ECP, Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker.—PPI