Judicial commission seeks replies from PML-N, MQM on PTI rigging claims

Judicial commission also sought a list of witnesses by from all political parties to record their statements


Hasnaat Malik April 23, 2015
Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: A judicial commission constituted to probe rigging allegations in the 2013 elections has sought responses from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) over the claims made by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

The three-judge commission, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, observed that the PTI in its statement made allegations of rigging against the ruling PML-N, whereas JI made assertions of electoral maneuvering against the MQM. Therefore, it issued notices to both parties to file their response by Saturday.

The commission has also sought a list of witnesses by from all political parties to record their statements. Likewise, the commission has also asked parties to file additional documents in support of their claims of election rigging.

Read: Rigging probe: Judicial commission directs ECP to submit report within one week

However, the commission clarified it would only decide on the examining of witnesses, as well as recording their statements in view of its Terms of Reference (TORs).

Keeping in view PTI’s apprehensions regarding the destruction of election record, the inquiry commission has directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to secure all relevant record.

The commission has also sought assistance from the counsels of the parties to sort out the modalities for further proceedings.

Read: Judicial commission invites political parties to submit proposals in rigging probe

Meanwhile, the commission has also sought a response from other parties over Pakistan Peoples Party's proposal to inspect elections bags in 70 selected constituencies.

During the course of proceedings, the chief justice posed questions before the counsels on whether rigging in the elections was a planned affair. If so, what was the plan; who made the plan, and how was it implemented? He said the parties should assist the commission regarding the questions with supportive documents.

During the public hearing, court No.1 was jam-packed with leaders of parties, as well as journalists. PTI chief Imran Khan, along with senior leadership of parties, also witnessed the proceedings.

PTI counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada said they submitted two applications, and one was related to the summons of 13 witnesses to record their statements in the first stage. Likewise, he said, the ECP should be directed to seal all election record, as they have serious concerns of the record being tampered with.

Read: SC forms judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in 2013 polls

Pirzada added they got the copy of NADRA’s analysis reports regarding 38 constituencies on Wednesday but could not respond to them because of a shortage of time.

Regarding the issuance of notices to the PML-N, the counsel urged the commission that it was the demand of natural justice that the ruling party must be issued notice to participate in the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the chief justice asked the audience if anyone was attending the proceeding on behalf of the PML-N. But despite Mustafa Ramday, one of PML-N’s legal team’s member and several MNAs, such as Anusha Rehman, Sheikh Rohail and Talal Chaudhry being present in the courtroom, no one stood up to respond to the chief justice’s query.

The commission’s hearing was adjourned till April 27.

COMMENTS (4)

Adnan Siddiqi | 6 years ago | Reply @OS: What are you on? What does high speed trains and lavish highways have to do with truck loads and rooms full of incriminating evidence against election rigging? I am merely asking a question here since it's Niazi himself who has claimed as such. A rejoinder to you comment. Yes, Pakistan is in a deep mess because of narcissistic nincompoops like Imran Khan who only has a cult following of deranged and delusional fan boys who were led to believe that PTI would sweep 2013 elections from Karachi to Khyber and from Earth to Neptune. As a matter of fact, this nation will only move forward when insidious and a grotesque character like this dharna and jalsi master is laid to rest forever. High speed trains and lavish highways are order of the day and who so ever has a problem with it - is more than welcome not to use them.
OS | 6 years ago | Reply @Adnan Siddiqi: Pakistan is in a mess and we can all rightly put the blame on IK and rest. The nation will improve with high speed trains and lavish highways.
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