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Voters list irregularities: SC orders restoration of votes to Karachi

November 21, 2012

— File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court sought an explanation from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday for changing polling stations of ‘unverified voters’ from their current to their permanent addresses, DawnNews reported.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing a case on the errors and irregularities in voters’ lists.

The bench directed the ECP to restore three million votes to Karachi, seeking an explanation for transferring the votes from Karachi to the voters’ respective native areas without their consent.

The ECP had decided to register the vote of a person at his permanent address in case the voter was not approachable to verify his address during the preparation of electoral rolls.

On Saturday, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had defended their decision, declaring that the 4.8 million unverified voters registered at their permanent addresses included 69 lawmakers, bureaucrats, army officers and six judges of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked that he lived in Islamabad but would vote from Quetta and he was pleased with the arrangement.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that this case should not be resolved in a manner that may result in postponing the elections as it was not feasible to do so. According to him, no directives that would bring forward negative results should be issued.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s lawyer, Hamid Khan said that 48 million voters had been transferred to different addresses.

Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.