PESHAWAR: An election tribunal here on Tuesday fined Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Imran Khattak Rs25,000 for his failure to appear before it in a case against his election over several women’s disenfranchisement during last year’s by-elections.
Shahjee Rehman Khan, who headed the tribunal, fixed the next hearing into the case for March 14 and asked the MNA to appear before him on that date.
Earlier, the tribunal had fined the MNA Rs10,000 on the previous hearing, March 5, for non-appearance.
The fine is imposed under the Representation of People’s Act, 1976, which says the respondent has either to appear in person, or through an attorney or through an advocate.
The MNA’s lawyer had submitted an application before the tribunal and expressed his client’s inability to turn up for personal reasons.
The tribunal took exception to his plea and observed that he had earlier too not appeared in the case.
The petition is filed by leader of Awami National Party Daud Khattak, who had lost to Mr Imran the by-elections held on Aug 22 in NA-5, Nowshera.
Haziq Ali Shah was the lawyer for the petitioner.
On the day of the polling, then Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan had taken notice of the disenfranchisement of women in several polling station in the said constituency.
The court had stayed the announcement of the election results and ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold polling afresh in all polling stations, where women were stopped from casting vote.
However, on a petition filed by Mr Imran, the Supreme Court had set aside the order of the high court on Sept 17 observing that the high court chief justice had no powers to exercise suo moto jurisdiction when an aggrieved person had not approached the court.
Following the Supreme Court order, some women voters had approached the high court saying they were stopped from casting votes.
However, the court referred them to the election tribunal.
Now, the said women voters are witnesses in the election petition filed by Daud Khattak.