Staff reporter Islamabad
THE Supreme Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday observed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had “made a mistake by not having Rangers posted” during the by-elections in the NA-75 (Daska) constituency last month.
He made the remark during the hearing of a petition filed by PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi, challenging the ECP’s decision to hold re-polling in the constituency after suspicions that results of certain polling stations were falsified.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Bandial, heard the petition.
Justice Bandial observed that the 2018 general elections were held peacefully because of the posting of Rangers. “They were not posted in NA-75 (Daska) which was a mistake by the Election Commission.”
He added that the court “respected constitutional institutions” and would look at every aspect of the matter.
During the hearing, the PTI candidate’s counsel asked the bench to set aside the ECP’s ruling calling for re-election in the entire constituency.
Responding to this, Justice Bandial denied the request, saying that re-polling will take place for sure but it is yet to be determined whether it will happen in the entire constituency or in certain polling areas.
The bench said it will take a final decision after hearing arguments from Salman Akram Raja – the PML-N candidate’s lawyer – who could not deliver his stance in court today as he was suffering from Covid-19.
Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed observed that there had been violence at polling stations during the by-elections and that it was the responsibility of the administration to control it.