LAHORE: The election tribunal on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by Abdul Aleem Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, challenging alleged irregularities and pre-poll rigging in NA-122 by-poll, Lahore.

Announcing a reserved verdict, tribunal member Mr Rasheed Qamar said the petition was not maintainable as issues raised in it were beyond the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

Mr Khan had mainly alleged in his petition that at least 30,000 votes were cancelled and shifted from NA-122 before the by-election held on Oct 11, 2015.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had retained his victory from the constituency in the by-poll.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had record of shifting of only 7,000 votes from the constituency. He stated the ECP act amounted to pre-poll rigging. He asked the tribunal to set aside the by-poll result as rigging was committed in the poll.

Opposing the PTI’s petition, the speaker through his counsel stated that electoral lists could not be challenged after the holding of the election. He said the petition of Mr Khan was not maintainable.

The tribunal also dismissed petition of Mohsin Latif, runner-up candidate of the PML-N from PP-147, falling in NA-122, on the same ground.

The tribunal dismissed another petition of Khwaja Salman Rafiq of PML-N against victory of PTI’s Murad Raas from PP-152, Lahore.

Speaking at a press conference soon after the tribunal gave its verdict, Aleem Khan said the decision was “one-sided” and given without listening to the PTI stance.

He announced challenging the verdict in a court of law.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2016

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