SHC suspends operation of Sukkur election tribunal order

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday suspended the operation of an order issued by Sukkur Election Tribunal for recounting of votes cast in polling stations of provincial assembly constituency (PS-22) in Naushehro Feroz, won by Pakistan Peoples’ Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) candidate.

A division bench of SHC headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar gave this interim order while hearing a petition filed by PPP lawmaker Abdul Sattar Rajpar, who moved the court against the order of Election Tribunal.

The court also issued notice to respondents – Election Commission of Pakistan, rival candidate Arif Mustafa Jatoi belonging to National Peoples’ Party (NPP) and presiding officer of the Election tribunal Sukkur. It adjourned the hearing of case till January 23.

The petitioner represented by advocate Shazia Hanjrah submitted that he was declared successful candidate by ECP in general elections. He said that his rival candidate filed petition in SHC for recounting, which was allowed by it and NPP candidate was declared successful.

After that PPPP candidate Sattar Rajpar challenged this result in the Supreme Court of Pakistan requesting to hold recounting once more.

Accordingly the recounting was held in the office of the District Returning Officer Naushehro Feroze and the PPPP candidate got 29,384 votes while the NPP candidate Arif Jatoi got 29,371. Thus the PPPP candidate was declared as the winner in the recounting held for the fourth time.

The petitioner said that his rival candidate filed election petition in ECP requesting for holding again recounting of votes in polling stations of PS-22 constituency, which according to petitioner was allowed by election tribunal on January 09, 2014, and ordered recounting of votes.

He said that he was dissatisfied with the tribunal’s judgment as it was against the election laws because the exercise of recounting of votes was already undertaken. He stated that the impugned order was mala fide, illegal and in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed under the constitution.

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