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Waheeda Shah slapped no one, claims counsel

November 29, 2012

Waheeda Shah at the Supreme Court building in Islamabad.—File photo

ISLAMABAD: During Thursday’s hearing of the Waheeda Shah eligibility case, her counsel, Hashmat Habib, said his client had not slapped anyone and that she was merely trying to disperse a crowd, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, heard the case.

During the hearing, Habib argued that the concerned presiding officer, Habiba Memon, had authorities for one day only and that Memon could not get an FIR registered against his client two days after the alleged incident.

The counsel moreover argued that the results of 102 polling stations should not be jeopardised over an incident that may have taken at a single polling station.

Responding to which, Justice Tariq Pervez questioned as to whether priority could be given to unofficial results as opposed to official results.

Habib added that the Returning Officer had sentenced his client as a magistrate, days after the polling.

Upon which, Justice Pervez questioned as to how could a Returning Officer sentence someone after the day designated for polling.

Habib said his client had not slapped anyone, adding that, she was merely trying to disperse a crowd.

Habib further said that no interference took place with respect to the action of the Election Commission of Pakistan, adding that, his client was served a sentence on the basis of a video.

In his remarks, Justice Nasir said Shah had been declared ineligible and that was why her election had been declared as void.

Justice Nasir, however, questioned as to how an entire election from the concerned constituency may be declared void over an incident at one polling station.

Responding to which, Munir Paracha, the counsel for the ECP, said that if one candidate was found involved in an illegal activity at the time of polling, the entire election from the area could be declared void.

Later on, the hearing was adjourned to Friday.

On Nov 4, Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhrudin G. Ebrahim had upheld the disqualification of Shah, a candidate who had slapped an election official during polling on Feb 25 in the by-election of PS-53 constituency of Sindh Assembly. Her disqualification bars her from being elected as a member of an assembly for two years.