Tribunal reserves verdict about PB-31, NA-272

Issues show cause notice to Balochistan election commissioner for not appearing

Mohammad Zafar December 09, 2018

QUETTA: The election tribunal of Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Saturday reserved judgments on two applications alleging election rigging in the province.

The two-member tribunal headed by Justice Abdullah Baloch issued a show cause notice to the Balochistan election commissioner for failing to appear.

On the application seeking re-elections in PB-31, Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani’s lawyer Riaz Ahmed and MPA Nasrullay Zeeray’s advocate Naseebullah Tareen appeared before the court and completed their arguments.

Doubts about western route ‘proved right’

“Following a blast in Eastern Bypass area of the provincial capital on the election day, the voting process was halted for hours, while reports of blatant rigging emerged,” Riaz told the court, adding that the returning officer didn’t even provide the Form 45 while announcing the final result.

Refuting the arguments, Tareen said the blast had affected voting in nine polling stations of Quetta and no concrete proof of rigging had been submitted.

“Despite the blast, voters’ turnout in all constituencies of the provincial capital remained equal, therefore the flawed application must be rejected,” he added.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the tribunal reserved the judgment.

Hearing an application submitted by the Balochistan chief minister against alleged election irregularities in NA-272 during the general elections, the tribunal reserved judgment and issued show cause notice to the provincial election commissioner for remaining absent despite court summons.

Former Balochistan Assembly speaker Aslam Bhootani won the election from NA-272 but his victory was challenged by CM Jam Kamal Khan who also contested for the National Assembly seat.

CM Kamal’s lawyer Barrister Iftikhar Raza and Bhootani’s lawyer Amanullah Kanrani completed their arguments.

Meanwhile, hearing a separate application against former chief minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri for using tribal influence in the polls, the tribunal adjourned the proceedings till December 11.

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