The Sindh High Court reserved on Wednesday its judgment on a petition challenging the authenticity of the voter lists and seeking a stay order against the by-elections in PS-57 of Badin scheduled for February 25.
Earlier, the bench, comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Nisar Muhammad Shaikh, examined the voter list for the 2008 elections and the electoral rolls prepared for the next general elections scheduled to be held in 2013.
The counsel for the petitioner, after going through the list and making a quick comparison, pointed out to the court that a cursory reading reveals glaring irregularities, omissions and additions.
The name of the voter who seconded the candidature of the petitioner, Syed Ali Bux Shah alias Pappu Shah, is listed in the electoral rolls of 2007 but is missing from the 2011 list.
The counsel relied on a few other similar omissions and said that the Election Commission and NADRA, respondents in the case, had superseded the procedures while finalising the list. The time for checking, filing objections and then finalising the electoral list was not given to the general public and thus this 2011 list could not be relied on.
Elections held on this faulty list would be in violation of the order of the Supreme Court, the counsel for the petitioner submitted, referring to three judgments he heavily relied on during his arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The official respondents and counsel for a candidate, Hasnain Ali Mirza, said, however, that new list was prepared with due diligence and all eligible voters have been registered.
After hearing both sides, the bench reserved the judgment which will be announced on Thursday. The seat fell vacant on September 7, 2011 after Zulfiqar Mirza resigned.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.