The Supreme Court has taken suo motu notice of assault on polling staff by a candidate for the Tando Muhammad Khan by-polls Waheeda Shah Bukhari.
The court was moved by an application filed by District Management Group (DMG) officer Anita Ayoub.
Bukhari was declared the winner in the initial vote-count of the Tando Muhammad Khan provincial seat by-poll (PS 53), but following the slapping incident of Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan withheld official results.
Ayoub, stated in her application that “Most civil servants wish to work in an environment where their self respect and dignity is not made vulnerable by all and sundry. A number of us feel committed to stand by a self-imposed code called ‘the Moral Revival’ being the flagship commitment to restore the lost dignity of the civil servants, to reclaim the classic independence of the institution through internal and external reforms.”
Taking notice on Wednesday, the SC summoned Bukhari on March 2, and the inspector-general of Sindh police and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Mirza have also been told to appear before the court. However, staff members who were assaulted have not yet been summoned.
Earlier Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry regretted the government's inaction in the matter and told Attorney General (AG) Maulvi Anwarul Haq that that SC had taken notice of the incident since it had damaged the image of the country.
“What kind of respect do you give us, was Anita Ayoub’s plea, the complainant and a DMG officer,” chief justice said. “I accepted her plea and issued notices," Justice Chaudhry said.
“You should conduct a summary trial and end the matter,” he directed the AG.
Haq submitted before the court that action was being taken regarding the incident.
Bukhari was caught on camera slapping two women at polling station No. 16 at the Government Girls High School.