LAHORE: An election tribunal will announce on Saturday (today) its verdict in alleged rigging case of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq’s constituency NA-122, Lahore.

Tribunal member Kazim Ali Malik had on Aug 17 reserved verdict after speaker’s counsel concluded his arguments against the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, the runner-up candidate from the constituency.

Strict security arrangements have been made on the premises of the Punjab Election Commission office where the tribunal holds its proceedings. No irrelavent person will be allowed to enter the premises on Saturday.

The tribunal has issued special passes to five persons from each side -- PTI and PML-N -- to hear the decision.

Abdul Aleem Khan, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Shoaib Siddiqi, Khurram Qureshi and Advocate Anees Hashmi will appear from the PTI side, while speaker’s son Ali Ayaz, retired Col Mubashar, Muhammad Abid, Advocate Khwaja Saeeduz Zafar and Barrister Asjad Saeed from the PML-N side.

It is to be mentioned here that proceedings of the Imran Khan’s petition remained suspended for a year. The Lahore High Court on Nov 4, 2013, had granted a stay to the NA speaker against the proceedings before the tribunal. The court on Nov 20, 2014, recalled the stay order and allowed the tribunal to proceed with the case.

The PTI chief visited the election tribunal twice firstly on Nov 26, 2014, with a request not to combine decisions of NA-122 and PP-147 and secondly on Dec 6, 2014, to record his statement. The NA speaker also recorded his statement before the tribunal on Feb 7, 2015.

The tribunal appointed a retired sessions judge as local commission on Dec 8, 2014. On tribunal’s order, Nadra held an inspection of the constituency record and submitted its final report on May 9, 2015. The authority submitted a supplementary report on May 30.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2015

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