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IHC seeks reply from ECP on JI petition

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The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday sought replies from Election Commission of Pakistan and others in response to plea of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) candidate for Chairman Union Council 8, Safari Park, TMC Safoora Karachi. ( IHC seeks reply from ECP on JI petition )

Rashid Manan Azmi, the JI candidate for Chairman UC 8, TMC Safoora, has filed a petition in IHC alleging that his victory was turned into defeat through a rigged recount.

Advocate Umer Ijaz Gilani appeared before a single-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb in the matter saying earlier the petitioner had approached the ECP. However, when the ECP passed a non-speaking order in response to his application, he was left with no recourse but to resort to the High Court.

Advocate Gilani apprised the bench that the petitioner had initially secured as many as 2153 votes which was 27 more than the runner up candidate belonging toย  the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI). He further said that a recount was carried out in which the JI candidate lost 72 votes while the PTI candidate lost none.ย โ€œInstead, he actually gained 2 votes. When the petitioner inquired from the RO about why so many of his votes were discarded, he was told that his votes had not been stamped by the Presiding Officersโ€, Gilani contended.

Arguing before the Islamabad High Court, the counsel asked: how is it possible that only the votes of the Jamate Islami candidate were not stamped by the Presiding Officer, while the votes of all other candidates were duly stamped? This strongly suggests that votes were tampered with during the recount.

Petitioner had approached the Election Commission but the ECP passed a mechanical order which does not even mention the facts of this case. The petitioner claims that Article 218 (3) of the Constitution has been violated as under the said Article the Commission is under an obligation to โ€œcompletely and fullyโ€ discharge its mandate and that in this instance the Commission did not pay heed to their constitutional responsibility.

An interesting argument made by the petitioner relies on the apprehension that the outcome and nature of the recount in the first place may set a precedent for any losing candidates in the future to easily set aside the natural, systemic and legal procedure and outcome of polls in any constituency whatsoever through post-poll rigging.

After hearing preliminary arguments of counsel, Justice Miangul admitted the petition for regular hearing and sought reply from the Election Commission and other respondents.

Courtesy of TLTP: https://www.tltpnews.com/ihc-seeks-reply-from-ecp-on-ji-petition/

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