KARACHI, Nov 16: The Election Tribunal, Karachi, on Saturday threw out a petition of a Pakistan Peoples Party candidate against the election of Dr Farooq Sattar, a member of the National Assembly and central leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, to the National Assembly constituency of NA-249.
The petition challenging the election results was filed by the runner-up candidate in the constituency, Abdul Aziz Memon of the PPP, alleging massive rigging at certain polling stations in the constituency.
The tribunal, headed by former judge of the Sindh High Court Zafar Ahmed Sherwani, dismissed the election petition against Dr Sattar on technical grounds as the petitioner had not submitted the certified copies of the documents annexed with his petition. Dr Sattar had bagged 109,952 votes and Mr Memon 64,974.
The petitioner alleged that polls were massively rigged in the constituency and asked the court to declare the NA-249 election results void.
He impleaded the Election Commission of Pakistan and the returning officer concerned as respondents.
Earlier, the tribunal had also rejected an application of Mohammed Zubair Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf seeking verification of thumbprints on ballots of 66 more polling stations in NA-256, a National Assembly seat in Karachi won by MQM candidate Iqbal Mohammed Ali Khan.
The tribunal had ordered the verification of thumb impressions on 84,748 ballots of 67 polling stations by Nadra. The Nadra report claimed that only 6,815 thumb impressions on the ballots could be successfully authenticated, while the thumb impressions on 57,642 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system because the fingerprints were of very poor quality apparently due to a lack of essential properties of the ink and inkpad used in the process of balloting. Besides, the report disclosed that 11,343 counterfoils contained invalid computerised national identity card numbers which were never issued by Nadra.
Another application of PTI’s Zubair Khan seeking suspension of the notification of the winning candidate will be heard by the tribunal on Nov 19.
Meanwhile, the tribunal put off the hearing of an election appeal filed by a candidate of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Altaf Patni, against the election of MQM candidate Ashfaq Mangi to PS-127, a provincial assembly seat in Karachi.
The tribunal issued notice to the witnesses.
On the next date of hearing, the tribunal will frame the issues and hear the arguments from the two sides on the issues.
Similarly, the tribunal adjourned the hearing of two election petitions of Syed Ghaus Ali Shah, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz against the election of PPP’s Nawab Ali Wassan to the NA-215 and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to PS-29.
The petition of Haji Khawand Bux Ghulam against the election of PPP’s Sharjeel Memon to PS-50 also came up for hearing before the tribunal.
The tribunal adjourned the hearing to Nov 23 for framing the issues and the cross-examination of the two sides.