Vote not invalid over ID card missing figure

Islamabad—The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Tuesday has observed that vote cannot be declared as invalid over the missing figure of the National Identity Card.
The top court observed this during the hearing of election petition moved by Usman Dar opponent candidate of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) against the electoral victory of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader, incumbent Defence Minister Khawaja Asif in general elections of 2013.
Three-judge bench of SC headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali resumed hearing of the appeal moved against Election Tribunal decision in favor of PML-N leader. The Election Tribunal had rejected Usman Dar’s plea moved alleging the rigging in elections.
Babar Awan Advocate arguing the case informed the court that Nadra has filed two separate reports after verifications of votes through thumb impressions, adding that over 50 thousand votes have not been verified and many voter’s ID cards could not be verified. 261 ID cards were used to poll more than one votes, he said.
Babar Awan said that most of ID card numbers are missing from counter files. Returning officers were involved in systematic rigging, he said.
Justice Ameer Hani Muslim said that vote cannot be declared unverified over the missing letter of the ID card and action can be taken against election commission staff if allegation proved.
To whom those votes had been polled which were poled on same cards, The court raised question before PTI’s lawyer. He replied that it would be proved before the bench that who received the benefit of those votes.
Whether election tribunal summoned the poling staff for recording their statements and cross examine them, court further inquired.
Babar Awan said that no body was summoned, adding that Election Tribunal has not delivered its ruling keeping the fact in mind and rejected three applications without hearing. Justice Aijazul Ahsan said that it also has been held by Tribunal that Usman Dar had not submitted the fine imposed over continuous absence. Court showed annoyance for not submission of the fine by PTI leader.
Babar Awan replied that Usman wanted to submit the fine but the tribunal rejected his plea including three other applications. Later the court adjourned further hearing of the case till today (Wednesday).—SABAH

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