Plea against Aseefa's unopposed election transferred to SHC Hyd bench

Another SHC bench seeks ECP response on Sunni Ittehad Council plea for reserved seats

Our Correspondent April 18, 2024
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari speaks during a rally in Lyari. photo: express


The Sindh High Court (SHC) has transferred to the Hyderabad Circuit Bench a petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inaf (PTI) candidate Ghulam Mustafa Rind challenging the unopposed victory of PPP leader Aseefa Bhutto in the NA-207 Nawabshah by-election.

In the petition, Rind argued that Aseefa's unopposed victory was ensured unlawfully by dismissing the nomination papers of all rival candidates.

"The returning officer rejected my nomination papers citing non-payment of the electricity bill. I was declared a defaulter even though there is no electricity in my village," the petitioner stated. "When I went to ask for my electricity bill, I was arrested by police," he further argued and prayed the court declare Aseefa's victory null and void, and order a re-election.

Meanwhile, another two-judge SHC bench summoned a comprehensive response from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) at the next hearing regarding a petition concerning the return of reserved seats for the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

Appearing before the bench, headed by Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmad Abbasi, ECP's lawyer sought time from the court to submit a response on the matter. The court granted the request and adjourned the hearing for four weeks, directing the ECP to provide a comprehensive answer at the next hearing.

The SIC petition seeks allocation of three reserved seats in the Senate. The petitioner argued that the ECP's issued order is illegal because it exceeded its authority and misused the law. The court should intervene to determine the distribution of reserved seats among political parties in the Sindh Assembly.

Missing person case

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has summoned the provincial home secretary and the relevant deputy inspector general (DIG) of police in response to a petition concerning the disappearance of a man for the past eight years.

Appearing before a two-judge bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, the elderly mother of the missing person, Sameer Afridi, expressed her despair, stating that if justice is not served and the truth remains hidden, the courts should cease to function. Afridi's mother, whose one leg is amputated, said she is determination to seek justice for her son.

During the proceedings, the bench inquired about Afridi's whereabouts and the responsible institution. The public prosecutor stated that Afridi has been forcibly disappeared, as confirmed by Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) and Task Force meetings. The mother lamented, asserting that the government itself is the biggest perpetrator of terrorism.

Justice Phulpoto assured the grieving mother of the court's support, affirming that every effort is being made to trace and reunite her with her son.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2024.


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