Tribunal allowed to resume proceedings against politicians

KARACHI: Election Tribunal will resume the proceedings on election petitions against Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, a Pakistan People’s Party MNA and other political leaders as the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday ruled that interim injunctions staying proceedings on election petitions pertaining to rigging shall cease to have effect on June 23.

Three-judge bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar observed high court had earlier held that it has no jurisdiction to hear the constitutional petitions against interlocutory orders passed by election tribunals, therefore, interim orders would have to be recalled and vacated immediately.

The larger bench of SHC was seized with the hearing of identical petitions challenging orders of election tribunals.

The bench noted that there are related bunch of petitions involving same question whether an interlocutory order made by election tribunal can be challenged in writ petition before high court. This question had earlier come before this larger bench and it had held that such petitions were not maintainable and dismissed, it added.

The bench while clubbing together the petitions for joint hearing ruled that interim orders staying proceedings shall continue till June 20. If by or before that any orders or directions are made by Supreme Court, then the matter shall be dealt accordingly, otherwise, interim orders shall cease to have effect on June 23.

Chief Minister Sindh and PPP lawmaker Nawab Ali Wassan had filed a petition assailing the order of election tribunal regarding maintainability of election petitions against them.

The petitioners represented by advocate Farooq H Naiq and Shazia Hanjrah submitted that PML-N leader Syed Ghous Ali Shah, who lost both provincial and national assembly seats in his home town Khairpur, (PS-29 and NA-215) challenged the election results to both constituencies before election tribunal and sought verification of thumbprints of voters on all ballots.

They said that Chief Minister and PPP MNA filed applications before the tribunal under section 63 of representatives of Representation of Peoples Act 1976 challenging the maintainability of the elections petitions against their victory, but their pleas were dismissed by the tribunal on 06th December 2013.

They argued that election tribunal erred in dismissing the applications and impugned order is based on surmises and contrary to law and decisions of the Superior Judiciary. Hence, they requested the court to set aside the tribunal’s order.

Other petitions were filed by PPP MNA Ali Gohar Khan Mahar, PPP MPA Abdul Sattar Rajpar and others against the orders of election tribunal.

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