The election tribunal declared the general election held in the provincial assembly constituency PS-114 in Karachi, which was won by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), as 'void' due to bogus voting and irregularities on Friday.
Headed by a former SHC judge Zafar Ali Khan Sherwani, the tribunal also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to issue a notification of election nullification.
PML-N candidate Irfanullah Marwat had won the May 11, 2013 general election from this seat, defeating Muttahida Qaumi Movement's (MQM) Rauf Ahmed Siddiqui.
Siddiqui challenged the results of election in the constituency before the election tribunal and sought verification to unearth illegalities during the voting process.
Upon his request, the tribunal had directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to carry out verification of 92,731 votes polled in the constituency.
NADRA's report disclosed that 17,504 of the votes cast were bogus as they were either cast by someone else or had invalid national identity card numbers.
The authority said that it had received material in respect of the total 92,731 polled votes for authentication through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
There were 14,234 used counter foils with NIC numbers that NADRA had never issued. Some 1,065 such votes were detected at the polling station number 64 and 719 at the polling station number 69, according to the report.
The report further revealed 378 unregistered votes found in the constituency were polled at polling stations number 53, 22 and 79. There were 792 duplicate votes polled by 1,602 voters.
One such voter Bibi Jamila, daughter of Gul Muhammad, resident of Mehmoodabad Karachi, had polled her vote five times at the polling station number 66.
According to the report, a total of only 10,007 votes were authenticated by the AFIS, whose fingerprint correctly matched the fingerprint data of registered voters with NADRA.
The report further disclosed that a total of 3,270 votes failed authentication, which means that someone else had voted against the ID number mentioned on the used counterfoil. For example, Muhammad Arif Sattar, son of Abdul Sattar, resident of Azam Town, had polled 44 votes at the polling station number 64.
On Friday, the tribunal declared the election in the constituency void. It directed its office to communicate this judgment to ECP to issue a notification in this regard.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.
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