NA-125: SC orders vote verification in Saad Rafique's constituency

Published: January 26, 2016
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An Express News screengrab.

An Express News screengrab.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered on Tuesday the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) to verify the record of all voters in National Assembly’s NA-125 Lahore constituency wherein current Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq was declared victorious in May 2013 general elections.

The NA-125 Lahore is one of the four constituencies which Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman demanded to be verified during his party’s historic 126-day sit-in at Islamabad’s D-Chowk in 2014.

NA-125 constituency: SC verdict on Saad Rafiq’s plea expected today

Hearing the petition filed by the PTI candidate Hamid Khan, a three-judge bench of the apex court headed by justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali directed Nadra to verify the all available counterfoils and submit a report in the court within three months.

Rafique had defeated his rival Hamid Khan of the PTI in the National Assembly constituency NA-125 (Lahore VIII).

An election tribunal had called for re-elections in constituencies NA-125 and PP-155 after an application filed by the PTI’s candidate and subsequent findings of irregularities in the records of 2013 general elections by a judicial commission.

The top court had passed a similar order in NA-110 case last week wherein the ruling party’s candidate and current Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had been elected in last general elections.

Later, speaking to media outside the SC building in Islamabad, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq said his party wants the rigging issue to be settled once and for all. “Although our lawyer could have objected over the verification by Nadra as there is no such legal standing but we did accepted it with an open heart,” he said.

Election row: Saad Rafique back in saddle – for now

The minister said he has no objection over the verification of voter’s record; however, he voiced his concerns about the substandard electoral material provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during 2013 general elections.

“It has been established that the magnetic ink was substandard and was not even available at some of the polling stations,” he claimed, questioning whether the thumb impressions will be verifiable after the lapse of more than 2.5 years.

Reader Comments (4)

  • Hassan
    Jan 26, 2016 - 4:12PM

    “Accepted with an open heart” meaning Nadra is in their pockets and they are happy this happened. Now “All is Well” report will be given and their supporters will shout their lungs out “Shair” “Shair” and go back to their homes , bikes filled with expensive fuel , no gas , no electricity.Recommend

  • Rocky
    Jan 26, 2016 - 5:15PM

    Decide something already !Recommend

  • Gramscian
    Jan 26, 2016 - 7:32PM

    Delaying tactics by the SC. It was NADRA that verified the record. Cases are usually taken by SC if there is new evidence or a serious flaw in treatment of cases in lower courts.

    In any case, if bustards are pillar of our foreign policy, then rigging is pillar of our national assembly. Recommend

  • Yul47 London
    Jan 26, 2016 - 8:03PM

    It is rather frustrating for Hamid Khan to be deprived of his rightful place as a member of Parliament for over three years, with respect the Court should have been more circumspect by upholding the decision of Election Commission of Pakistan ECP in the first place. If verification of votes by Nadra was the route the Court was likely to converge upon, it should have been ordered immediately following Rafiques decision to appeal. Recommend

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