ISLAMABAD: While drawing parallels between the extrajudicial killing of Sarfaraz Shah and Waheeda Shah Bukhari’s assault on polling staff, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday said that the Election Commission of Pakistan and police have failed to take a timely decision on the incident.
Heading a three-member bench for the suo motu hearing of the incident, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the Inspector General of Police Sindh should resign from his post over the episode.
The IG Sindh defended himself before the court and said that there was no comparison between the killing of Sarfaraz Shah and this incident. Chief Justice Chaudhry replied saying, “This incident is even more serious than the extrajudicial killing, because it has brought shame to the country.”
“Due to the negligence of law enforcing institutions, such incidents take place. The officials go really far, to an extent that they take the law into their hands.”
Bukhari prayed that she come to the court to “apologise”. When the chief justice inquired about Bukhari’s counsel, she said, “You [chief justice] are my lawyer and you [chief justice] are my judge.”
Chief justice directed the IG Sindh to take action against the incident according to the law and submit a report before the court at the next hearing on March 12.
“If such an incident could take place in the by-polls, what would happen in the general elections.”
Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq informed the court that the FIR lodged against Bukhari was not “proper”. He said that according to Section 353 and Section 189 of the Pakistan Penal Code should have been imposed, given the violation done by the MPA.
AG Haq informed the court that according to these sections, Bukhari would have to undergo a two-year-long imprisonment and pay a heavy fine.
IG Sindh informed the court that these two sections will be added in the FIR. The chief justice said that it should have been done without the court having pointed it out.
The court also observed that police “did not even bring the case file in the hearing.”
The court observed that the ECP should have not only been a witness, but also a complainant in the case.
Earlier the court was moved by an application filed by District Management Group (DMG) officer Anita Turab.
Turab had 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’, which is the flagship commitment to restore the lost dignity of civil servants (and) to reclaim the classic independence of the institution through internal and external reforms.”
Bukhari was declared the winner in the initial vote-count of the provincial seat by-poll (PS 53), but following Saturday’s now infamous slapping incident caught on video, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) withheld official results.