PESHAWAR, Sept 2: An election tribunal here on Monday dismissed a petition against the election of MNA Sajid Hussain Turi from NA-37, Kurram Agency on technical grounds.

Losing candidate Syed Qaisar Hussain had filed the petition alleging massive rigging in the election.

The tribunal presided over by Shahjee Rehman Khan dismissed the petition, saying it was not maintainable under the Representation of People’s Act 1976.

The petitioner had received 29,097 votes against Sajid Turi’s 29,623 votes.

Both had contested the election as independent candidates.

The petitioner had alleged massive rigging on part of Mr Turi and contended that at several polling stations, bogus votes were polled.

He had also alleged that at several female polling stations, voters were barred from using their franchise.

Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik, lawyer for Sajid Turi, contended that the petitioner had not fulfilled the mandatory requirements mentioned in Section 55 of the Representation of People’s Act.

He argued that the petitioner had not verified and attested the documents submitted along with the petitioner and that under the law, it was mandatory that the petitioner should sign each and every page of the petition.

RECOUNTING OF REJECTED VOTES: The tribunal also decided to recount the rejected votes and postal ballots in the provincial assembly constituency of PK-90, Chitral from where All Pakistan Muslim League leader Ghulam Mohammad was elected by seven votes only.

It was hearing an election petition filed by losing candidate Sardar Hussain of Pakistan People’s Party.

The petitioner had received 10841 votes against 10848 votes received by Ghulam Mohammad.

The tribunal decided to form a one-member commission for recounting and re-examining the rejected votes and postal ballots.

Ghufran Ahmad, lawyer for the petitioner, contended that the relevant returning officer had erred by not recounting the said categories of votes, which was mandatory under the law.

He pointed out that the number of rejected votes was 2995, whereas the postal ballots were over 2000.

The lawyer contended that several votes cast in favour of his client were rejected on flimsy grounds by the relevant presiding officer.

He pointed out several flaws in the decision of the returning officer saying in one of the instances, his client had received 37 votes, but it was erroneously mentioned as 17.

The lawyer said similarly, four votes were erroneously put in the ballot box meant for the National Assembly by voters, which were not counted by the RO and were instead rejected.