LAHORE: An election tribunal turned down on Saturday plea of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan for action against a commission that inspected record of the 2013 election held in the National Assembly’s constituency NA-122.
The PTI chief had also sought re-inspection of the record of certain polling stations in the constituency won by NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
Disposing of the application, tribunal’s member Kazim Ali Malik said at this stage it was premature for the PTI leader to seek re-inspection.
Mr Khan’s counsel, Anees Hashmi, argued that the commission had not followed its terms of reference and had committed breach of trust by giving media statements about its report. He said the commission had showed its bias by giving its opinion to the electronic media.
He said the matter was pending before the tribunal and the commission by giving controversial statements had become a party to the matter.
The counsel asked the tribunal to take action against the commission for breach of trust and duty. He also sought an order for re-inspection of the ballot bags of certain polling stations while strictly adhering to the ToRs given by the tribunal.
The speaker’s counsel, Asjad Saeed, opposed the plea, saying cross-examination on the commission’s report had already been carried out. He said Mr Khan’s counsel had cross-examined the commission and now he was showing distrust over the inspection process.
The tribunal said that after preparation of the inspection report and making a statement on oath before it, the commission was expected to leave the matter to the tribunal.
However, the tribunal said “microscopic examination” would be made before deciding whether the election was rigged. It said the two parties should concentrate on pursuing their cases instead of resorting to a media trial.
Barrister Saeed said his client did not want to examine any witness and only he himself would enter the witness box in support of his claim during the next hearing.
The tribunal also disposed of, on technical grounds, an application of Mr Sadiq seeking appearance of some official witnesses.
The hearing will resume on Feb 7.
Retired sessions judge Ghulam Hussain Awan was appointed by the tribunal to inspect the record. The result of the election was kept unchanged after the process.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2015
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