LHC dismisses petitions challenging victories of Maryam Nawaz, others

LAHORE  -  The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday dis­missed petitions chal­lenging election victories of 18 candidates includ­ing Maryam Nawaz, Ham­za Shehbaz, Khawaja Asif, Atta Tarar, Saiful Malook Khokhar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Abdul Aleem Khan of Istehkam-e-Paki­stan Party (IPP).

The court dismissed the petitions for not being maintainable and observed that reasons would be re­corded in the detailed ver­dict. The court also asked the petitioners to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for redres­sal of their grievances. 

Justice Ali Baqar Na­jafi announced the re­served verdict on peti­tions filed by Rihana Dar, Mian Shahzad Farooq and other runner-up indepen­dent candidates. The court had reserved its verdict on maintainability of the pe­titions after hearing ar­guments of the counsel for petitioners, ECP and PML-N, earlier in the day.

In the course of argu­ments, the counsel for run­ner-up candidates argued that the returning officers (ROs) manipulated vote counts in Form 45 and 47. The court was requested to set aside the victory of the respondent candidates.

However, counsel for the ECP and PML-N raised objections on maintain­ability of the petitions and requested to send all these petitions to the commission.

The counsel for ECP fur­ther submitted that sev­eral petitioners had ap­proached the commission and notices had been is­sued on their applications. He further submitted that the ECP was the first avail­able forum for redressal of the grievances.

Meanwhile, the court also dismissed a petition filed by independent can­didate Salman Akram Raja regarding success of Iste­hkam-e-Pakistan Par­ty (IPP) candidate Aun Chaudhry from NA-128 constituency. The court dismissed the petition for not being maintainable and ordered the petitioner to approach the ECP for re­dressal of his grievance.

Justice Ali Baqar Naja­fi announced the reserved verdict on the petition filed by Salman Akram Raja.The court had reserved its ver­dict on maintainability of the petition after hearing arguments of the parties, earlier in the day.

The petitioner had em­phasized that the issue pertained to violation of rule, not vote counting. He stressed the neces­sity of candidates’ pres­ence during result compi­lation as per the Election Act. He questioned wheth­er results could be validat­ed in the candidate’s ab­sence and highlighted that results of only 13 polling stations of NA-128 constit­uency were compiled in their presence.

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