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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court dismissed on Monday the petitions of Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and a Pakistan Peoples Party MNA against the order of the Election Tribunal, Karachi about verification of voters’ thumbprints on ballots in their respective constituencies.

A three-judge larger bench of the SHC headed by Justice Munir Akhtar dismissed the petitions after finding them non-maintainable.

The bench ruled that after consideration of Article 225 of the Constitution and in the light of various judgements of the apex court, the petitions were not maintainable.

On an application of the petitioners’ lawyer seeking time to approach the apex court, the bench extended its stay order through which it had restrained the ET from proceeding with the elections petitions for two weeks. However, the court ruled that unless any order passed by the Supreme Court on any appeal that may be filed, the stay order will automatically come to an end after two weeks.On Dec 6, 2013 the ET, Karachi, headed by former SHC judge Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani, had ordered the National Database and Registration Authority to carry out verification of thumb impressions of voters on entire ballots in the PS-29 (Khairpur), the provincial assembly seat won by CM Shah, and in NA-215 (Khairpur), the national assembly seat won by PPP’s Nawab Ali Wasan.

The tribunal had also allowed another application of PML-N leader Syed Ghous Ali Shah for verification of thumbprints of all voters on ballots in the NA-215 constituency.

Mr Shah, also a former Sindh chief minister, had lost both the provincial and national assemblies’ seat in the May 11, 2013 general elections. He moved the tribunal challenging the victory of the PPP candidates on the two seats in his hometown.

PPP’s Qaim and Wasan had secured 44,362 votes and 91,809 votes, respectively.

The PPP MPA and MNA through their applications before the tribunal had also challenged the maintainability of the elections petitions against their victory, but their pleas were dismissed by the tribunal.The same bench also dismissed an election petition of another PPP MNA, Roshan Din Junejo, on similar grounds.

Mr Junejo had won NA-236 seat in Sanghar and had moved the SHC against the order of an election tribunal.