ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court, through a petition, has been moved to declare Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) activist Mohsin Dawar’s election from tribal area Mirahshah as void.
The appeal alleged that supporters of PTM’s activist Dawar threatened and forcibly barred women from casting their votes and later Dawar, in connivance with polling staff, managed to cast votes of females in his favour through deceitful manner.
The appeal also requested the top court to issue directions for recounting of votes in the constituency NA-48 (Tribal Areas IX Miran Shah), where Dawar was declared as returned candidate in General Election 2018.
The appeal is filed by Mufti Misbahuddin, one of the contesting candidates in NA-48 (Miran Shah, North Waziristan), through his counsel Advocate Kamran Murtaza wherein Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), returning officer and other contesting candidates including Dawar are arrayed as respondents.
The appeal maintained that 161 polling stations were established in the constituency and the total votes registered in the said constituency are 2,74,205, including 1,96,568 males and 77,637 females.
“Local administration while conducting the election created a fearing atmosphere in the constituency, reasons best known to them, however, their ulterior motives and mala fide intentions, could not be ruled out as they were hell bent to declare respondent No.1 (Dawar) as returned candidate,” the appeal stated.
Petitioner requests top court to issue directions for recounting of votes in NA-48
“On the polling day, mass rigging was made at all female polling stations and booths, besides 25 polling stations for males, in favour of Mohsin Dawar,” said the petition.
It argued that a glaring example of corrupt practice was established as evident from affidavit of Taqi Ullah, the polling agent nominated by Misbahuddin, adding that this aspect may also be confirmed from the ratio of female voters which in spite of mass rigging remained below than the required rate of 10 per cent.
“The local administration and Election Commission of Pakistan were informed about the situation on telephone as well as through applications but none was there to take action,” he added.
Misbahuddin in his appeal further contended that counting of votes was made in absence of his polling agents rather most of them were not allowed even in the polling hours to perform their duties.
Furthermore no Form-45 was issued to polling agents despite their demands and even no notice of final count was served upon the appellant, which was carried out after July 28, 2018 in his absence.
The appeal further contended that original results were changed and the appellant, who was winning by margin of more than 2000 votes, was declared as unsuccessful and Dawar, who had actually lost the election, was declared as the returned candidate for National Assembly seat.
According to the appeal, number of polled votes was 63,954 which included 57,600 male voters and 6,354 female voters while rejected votes were 611.
The appellant secured 15,363 votes while Mohsin Dawar, who is registered as Mohsin Javed in official documents, secured 16,526 votes.
Misbahuddin further contended that he approached RO for recounting prior to consolidated statement of counts and requested to stop declaration of election results but RO paid no heed to it.
It claimed that RO though considered the application for recounting but after issuance of the consolidated statement of counts he wrongly mentioned the date of submission of application for recounting as July 28 instead of actual date July 26.
By wrongly mentioning the date of application for recounting, RO devoid the appellant of his right protected under section 95 of the Elections Act, 2017 read with Rule 86 of the Election Rules, 2017.
The appellant approached the ECP on July 30 for recounting and submitted another petition on August 3 for declaring Dawar’s election to be void in view of female polled votes.
The petition was entertained but dismissed on August 13 while the application for recounting was not considered at all, the appeal stated.
“The legality of cast votes, in view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case coupled with affidavit dated 22nd Septer, 2018 of Taqi Ullah, can be ascertained after the votes cast in the entire constituency in general and in 25 polling stations in particular are verified by NADRA using the finger print impression.”
The appeal stated that ECP in violation of law declared Mohsin Dawar as returned candidate.
The appellant in his appeal contended that he moved an election petition before Election Tribunal Peshawar High Court (PHC) but the same was rejected on November 26, 2018 for being not maintainable.
It contended that Election Tribunal erred in holding that the election petition did not contain material particulars against the returned candidate, adding that the tribunal was not correct in holding that the verification and the affidavit in the election petition being not in accordance with the provisions of law.
“The allegations contained in election petition do disclose the full particulars of the alleged corrupt practices as objected by the Election Tribunal,” it added. It further added that the provisions of section 144 of the Election Act 2017 had not been violated and did not require dismissal of the election petition on ground of maintainability under section 145(1) of the 2017 Act.
The appeal prayed for setting aside the November 26 Order of Election Tribunal PHC.