ECP served notice on K-P CM’s ‘polls rigging’ pleas

PHC also disposes of Gandapur’s writ plea after JUI-F leader withdraws application

Our Correspondent April 24, 2024
A social media campaign was launched against the ECP and government officials after opposition parties alleged rigging and manipulation. PHOTO: APP


The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking its response on the petitions filed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur against the action taken by the electoral body on the allegations that the February 8 general elections were rigged.

The court also disposed of a writ petition of the K-P CM in a case of alleged rigging in the elections after the JUI-F withdrew its application from the ECP.

A two-judge bench of the PHC comprising its Chief Justice Syed Muhammad Atiq Shah and Justice Khurshid Iqbal heard the petitions filed by Gandapur.

The bench extended the stay order on the ECP taking action against the K-P chief minister.
Besides, it also extended the stay filed against stopping the recount of votes in the constituency of NA-43 Tank.

The K-P CM’s lawyer, Alam Khan Adenzai, informed the court that the ECP had issued a notice to his client on the complaint of his political rivals.

He pointed out that JUI-F’s Kafeel Nizami, who had filed an application against his client, had withdrawn his plea.

He continued that the ECP had not responded to the application filed by Gandapur’s opposing candidates, Ziaullah and Muhammad Junaid.

The court sought a response from the ECP on the applications filed by Ziaullah and Junaid. It also disposed of the case of the JUI-F leader as he had withdrawn his application from the ECP.

Similarly, the bench also extended the injunction on the writ filed against NA-43 Tank vote recount.
Adenzai, who was also representing MNA Dawar Kundi, told the court that 40 polling stations in the constituency had been recounted at the request of JUI’Fs Asad Mahmood and eight on the plea of his client.

However, he continued that Mahmood illegally and unconstitutionally sought recount at 300 polling stations.

The lawyer argued that the ECP no longer had the authority to conduct a recount. The bench stopped the recount by extending the injunction and issued a notice to the ECP seeking its response.

Separately, the two judge bench of the PHC comprising Justices Ijaz Anwar and Shahid Khan asked the K-P advocate general to submit his response by May 2 on a writ filed against the provincial government approving one month’s budget without the approval of the assembly.

PA opposition leader Dr Ibadullah Khan’s lawyer, Aminur Rehman Yousafzai, told the court that the K-P caretaker government had presented a budget for four months under Article 126 of the Constitution.
He continued that the present elected provincial government presented the necessary expenditure budget for the month of March under Article 125 of the Constitution.

He reminded the PHC that in March, it had ordered the K-P speaker to swear in the MPAs on reserved seats at its next session.

However, he continued that to avert the swearing-in of those lawmakers, the provincial government did not call the budget session.

The lawyer told the court that the K-P government presented the budget for the month of April under Article 126 similar to what the caretaker government had done.

In another case, a contempt petition was filed in the PHC as despite its orders, 35 personnel working in the police department -- from grade-16 to grade-17 – had not been promoted with the IGP and additional IG named as parties in the plea.

It was filed by Muhammad Hamid and 34 other workers who had not been promoted against the court’s orders.

In the contempt plea filed through their lawyer, Advocate Saadullah Marwat, the employees pointed out that the PHC, in its order on February 6 this year, had declared that the case of the petitioners, who were working as assistants in grade-16, should be placed before a departmental committee for their promotion to grade-17.

However, they pointed out that despite the passage of two months, neither had they been promoted, nor their case presented before the committee.


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