HYDERABAD: Eager to be back in power, Wahida Shah was disappointed yet again as the court adjourned case proceedings without fixing a new date.
On April 24, the Sindh High Court had stayed the verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for her disqualification and said that she could not contest in elections for two years. Shah was punished for violating election rules and assaulting the female polling staff in Tando Muhammad Khan in the by-elections for PS-53 on February 25.
The ECP challenged the SHC order with an emergency plea in the Supreme Court and the case was heard on May 14. On Thursday, Shah’s lawyer, Advocate Haider Imam Rizvi, informed the divisional bench, Justice Aqeel Abbasi and Justice Muhammad Tasnim, that the SC had dismissed the urgency plea.
The advocate claimed that Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Ali Shaikh had failed to submit the details of the SC petition as required by the SHC. Rizvi reminded the court that on the last day of the hearing, May 15, the DAG was given eight days time to provide the details that he could not. “We gave you an opportunity. Our order has been challenged in the honourable Supreme Court,” said Justice Aqeel Abbasi to the DAG. “Don’t you think propriety warrants that we are provided the details?”
Shaikh responded by telling the judge that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry was hearing cases at the Quetta registry and thus the issue was delayed. He asked the court to give him a week to prepare a report.
The lawyer of PS-53 candidate Amir Zardari, who became a party to the petition, asked the court to dismiss Wahida Shah’s petition as the SC would hear the case. He wants fresh by-elections to take place in the constituency. “The delay is denying the fundamental rights,” said advocate Muhammad Yousuf Laghari. However, he was asked to file a separate petition if he felt that his rights were being infringed. “The petitioner [Wahida Shah] in this case is aggrieved by an order [ECP’s verdict] and seeks justice,” said Justice Abbasi.
The circuit bench noted that its tenure will expire in a week and asked all those involved in the case to seek a new date for the hearing from the office.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.