12 May, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on 11,May,2015 suspended the decision of election tribunal regarding NA-125, which disqualified Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique after irregularities were confirmed in polls held in the constituency in the May 2013 general elections.

The court also suspended the decision of the tribunal related to PP-155 due to which Pakistan Muslim League s (PML-N s) Mian Naseer lost his seat. The hearing was conducted by a three-member bench headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali after which all the electoral records were summoned whereas Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was also barred to conduct by-poll in the constituency. Last week, the tribunal had found irregularities in NA-125 and PP-155 after which the ECP had de-notified Khawaja Saad Rafique. The tribunal had annulled results of the NA-125 election and ordered a re-poll on the seat won by Rafique as well as PP-155.

But, today a three-member bench of the apex court suspended the tribunal’s order when hearing a response to a petition submitted by Khawaja Saad Rafique who was declared victorious during the 2013 general elections from NA-125 constituency. In his plea, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader contended that the election tribunal’s decision did not explicitly state that he was involved in rigging. In its short order, the tribunal had said grave irregularities were found in the record of seven polling stations of NA-125 inspected by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The application further said that the tribunal’s decision had said that there were only seven polling stations that showed discrepancies which were not linked to him.

The SC subsequently suspended the tribunal’s decision for re-election in NA-125 and PP-155 constituencies and accepted Rafique’s petition for hearing. The court summoned all election records from the tribunal and adjourned the hearing for four weeks. Moreover, Saad Rafique has also been restored on his post after the verdict of SC. Earlier, election tribunal disqualified Khawaja Saad Rafique after irregularities were confirmed in NA-125 polls that were held in the constituency in the May 2013 general elections. In its verdict, the tribunal declared NA-125 results null and void and ordered for conduct of re-polls in the constituency within next sixty days.

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