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SC grants stay order on Daska re-election for an indefinite period

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, restrained the election commission from holding re-polling in the constituency on April 10. The court instructed the ECP not to put the entire electoral process on hold and but just delay re-polling.

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The Supreme Court granted on Thursday a stay order for an indefinite period against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision regarding re-election on a vacant National Assembly seat (NA-75) in Punjab’s Daska tehsil of Sialkot.

Read More: NA-75: Did agencies rig by-polls in Daska?

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, restrained the election commission from holding re-polling in the constituency on April 10. The court instructed the ECP not to put the entire electoral process on hold and but just delay re-polling.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to order re-polling at all polling stations in NA-75. The petition was moved by PTI candidate from Daska Ali Asjad Malhi.

“The ECP has no jurisdiction to pass a short order as this jurisdiction vests only with the Supreme Court, which already held in the 1993 Nawaz Sharif versus President of Pakistan [Ghulam Ishaq Khan] and the 1998 Benazir Bhutto versus President of Pakistan cases that merely because several illegalities had taken place in certain polling stations, no justification existed in annulling elections of all polling stations,” the petition had said.

On Feb 25, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had ordered re-election in the NA-75 Sialkot-Daska constituency over alleged rigging and irregularities. The elections which were held on February the 19th were declared null and void after suspected tempering in 20 polling stations’ results.

Moreover, the ECP had also ordered the suspension of the relevant deputy commissioner, the district police officer (DPO), assistant commissioner, and SPDO Daska over “rigging” during the by-poll in the NA-75 constituency.

“[For now] the decision of the election commission to hold re-election stands,” said Justice Umar Ata Bandial. “But the court is postponing its holding on April 10.”

Read More: Why has the returning officer withheld NA-75 Daska by-poll results?

The court adjourned further proceedings for an indefinite period.

 

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