SC directs Sindh EC to ensure verification of voter lists in army’s presence

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Sindh Election Commissioner EC to address the grievances of individuals about door to door verification of their votes in the presence of armed forces in Karachi and submit the compliance report within two weeks.

A three member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed directed the Election Commission of Pakistan ECP to must carry out verification of voter lists in view of its SC December 5, 2012 order and this exercise should be meaningful.

The court directed the Attorney General Irfan Qadir to appear before it today Thursday over the matter for evolving mechanism about casting of votes of overseas Pakistanis. The court inquired as to why the Sindh Election Commissioner had been failed to conduct doortodoor verification of voter lists with the assistance of army despite clear orders.

The bench was hearing a set of identical petition filed by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and several other political parties against the fake voter lists in Karachi, verification of electoral rolls in Karachi and seeking electoral reforms.

During the hearing, Muhammad Munir Paracha, counsel for Election Commission of Pakistan ECP submitted an affidavit on behalf of Election Commissioner Sindh regarding door to door verification of voters in the presence of armed forces in Karachi. According to the affidavit, the verification process is being carried out in view of December 5, 2012 order of the Supreme Court.

Imran Khan’s counsel Hamid Khan also submitting another affidavit on behalf of a lady Tehseen Fatima, who contradicted the ECP’s claims that the verification process was goingon smoothly. She alleged that MQM workers had highjack the verification process of voter lists in Karachi as two workers of that party came at her home on February 1 for that purpose.

Representatives of other petitioners also submitted the same complain before the court that the ECP’s staffs had been highjack by MQM. The chief justice then told the representatives of political parties that the ECP’s affidavit regarding this matter had come before the court, thus it would consider the matter.

He said if the provincial Election Commissioner would submit false affidavit regarding the implementation of its December 5, 2012 order, the court would also take action against him. Munir Peracha stated that the exercise about the verification of voters was still continued and if anyone had some grievances in this regard, the ECP would address his concerns.

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