‘Petitioner Fined’: SC dismisses plea seeking polls annulment

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday rejected a petition seeking recently-held general elections to be declared as null and void, and slapped a heavy fine on the petitioner.

The petitioner had prayer the court to declare the February 8 general elections as null and void due to alleged violations of democratic norms and electoral integrity. The plea had also urged the court to order new elections within 30 days to be held under the direct supervision and oversight of the judiciary “to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability”.

A three-judge apex court bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali conducted the proceedings on Wednesday as petitioner again did not show up in the court.

As the hearing began, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Amir Rahman informed the apex court that a notice had been sent to petitioner Ali Khan’s house through the defence ministry and police had also gone there as well, but he was not present there.

When Chief Justice Isa asked about the identity of the petitioner, the AAG said Ali Khan was a former brigadier who had been tried by a court-martial in 2012 and awarded five-year jail when General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was the Chief of the Army Staff.

The CJP noted that according to the petitioner’s email, he was abroad and had requested to withdraw his plea. Ali went to Bahrain by taking a connecting flight via Doha, Justice Isa added.

PTI leader Shaukat Basra came to the rostrum but he was not permitted to speak as he was “neither a petitioner nor a counsel”. CJP Isa then told Basra to step aside from the rostrum.

Regarding Ali, CJP Isa remarked, “It is strange that the petitioner filed the plea and then went abroad the next day. Our (fixation) branch has confirmed the email as well that it has been sent by the same person.”

The court rejected the petition and slapped half a million rupees fine on Ali Khan.


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