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SHC stops NA-208 vote verification

September 13, 2013

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KARACHI, Sept 12: A division bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court suspended the operation of an order of the Election Tribunal Sukkur regarding verification of thumb impressions of votes in 69 polling stations of the NA-208, a National Assembly seat in Jacobabad won by a Pakistan Peoples Party candidate.

The bench also issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan, presiding officer of the ET at Sukkur and others, and put off the hearing to Sept 19.

The bench was seized with a petition of PPP MNA Ejaz Hussain Jakhrani who impugned the election tribunal’s order for thumb impressions verification.

MNA Jakhrani impleaded Illahi Bux Soormo, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and 15 other candidates — Ahmed Ali Khosa, Sajjad Ali Baloch Buledi, Saeeda Soomro, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Syed Nazir Hussain Shah, Abdur Razzak Khan Khosa, Nazir Ahmed, Muhammed Shabban, Muhammed Arif Brohi, Muhammed Imran, Mir Khalid Nawaz Jakhrani, Mir Zeeshan Ali Panhwar, Mir Saeed Ahmed Jakhrani, Meyo Khan Brohi and Naib Faqeer Muhammed Zahri — and the ET at Sukkur as respondents.

He submitted that he had been declared successful after securing 51,025 votes, while the PML-N candidate bagged 45,801 votes.

Later, he said Illahi Bux Soomro moved an application to the ECP challenging the election results of the constituency.

The petitioner stated that the ECP without giving him an opportunity of hearing allowed the application of the rival candidate directing him to approach the election tribunal at Sukkur.

He said the ET on Aug 24 directed the National Database and Registration Authority to verify the thumb impressions of votes of 69 polling stations and reserved the order on Mr Soomro’s election appeal.

The petitioner expressed no-confidence in the election tribunal and asked the court to stay the operation of the impugned order of thumb impressions verification.

The bench issued notices to the respondents and put off the hearing to Sept 19.

Plea for potable water supply

Another SHC bench comprising Justices Nadeem Akhtar and Aftab Ahmed Gorar on Thursday directed the chief secretary, managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and others to file their respective reports on a petition seeking supply of potable water to the citizens.

The bench also directed the provincial government law officer to ensure the submission of respondents’ replies within three weeks, and adjourned the hearing to a date to be later fixed by the court’s office.

The petition was filed by a civil right campaigner and general secretary of the United Human Rights of Pakistan, Rana Faizul Hasan.

He submitted in the petition that the supply of potable water to citizens was the duty of the KWSB but it was supplying water to citizens without filtration.

The petitioner stated that daily 100 million gallons of water were misused due to lack of proper maintenance of water supply lines and the citizens were facing a shortage of 300mgd of water.

He said that according to newspaper reports potable water was being supplied to the citizens without any filtration and without adding chlorine to it.

The petitioner asked the court to direct the KWSB to ensure supply of drinkable water to the citizens after filtration.

Illegal hydrants

Meanwhile, the SHC bench headed by Justice Munib Akhtar directed the home department to submit a detailed report regarding actions taken by the law- enforcement agencies to halt the stealing of water from illegal hydrants being operated in different parts of the city.

The bench gave this direction while hearing a petition filed by the KWSB, seeking action against illegal hydrants in Karachi.

The counsel for the water utility submitted that various illegal hydrants were operating in different parts of the city. He said illegal hydrants were being operated within the remits of Sindhi Muslim Society, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Zaman Town, Sukhiya Goth, Mauripur, Landhi and New Karachi police stations.

The counsel stated that the KWSB and police jointly launched a massive crackdown against illegal hydrants in 2009, but the powerful persons rebuilt them and were stealing water.

He said criminal cases were also lodged at different police stations against the unscrupulous elements, but police made no effort to curb the menace.

The KWSB counsel asked the court to direct the officials of the police station concerned to restrain the illegal water hydrants from operating in their respective limits.

The bench directed the additional advocate general to obtain a report from the home secretary regarding actions against the operation of illegal hydrants in the city.