SC suspends LHC verdict of vote recount in NA-131

August 8, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a decision of the Lahore High Court to restrain the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from issuing the victory notification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan from NA-131, Lahore, and ordering the returning officer to hold a recount of all ballot papers.

During the proceeding on the appeal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan against the decision, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said that there is no need of any recounting in the constituency.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said that hearing such issue comes under the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Earlier on August 06, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan challenged the Lahore High Court orders to recount votes in NA-131 in Supreme Court. The petition was filed by Imran Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan.

Imran bagged the seat by securing 84313 and the runner-up Saad Rafique secured 83633 votes with the difference of 780.

The LHC also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to restrain from issuing the notice of the success of the PTI chief until the process of the recount is completed. A Returning Officer had earlier dismissed the former railway’s minister’s plea of the recount of votes of the whole constituency.

The ECP then accepted Rafique’s application but only allowed scrutiny of rejected votes. However, Khan remained the winning candidate and the PML-N leader’s effort could not bear fruit, leading him to file a petition in the high court.

Challenging the LHC orders, the prime minister-in-waiting prayed to the Supreme Court that Rafique’s petition was inadmissible and the high court’s order was in contradiction with the law and the Constitution and hence must be declared null and void. Meanwhile, Khan’s party expressed serious concerns over delays in announcing election results of the constituencies, currently being challenged at different levels.

Withholding results of almost 20 constituencies due to administrative or legal reasons is extremely inappropriate, said a statement issued by PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry. “Votes in 48 constituencies have already been recounted,” it added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) withheld notification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s success in two constituencies.

The notification of Imran’s success in NA-53 (Islamabad) and NA-131 (Lahore) have been withheld, the ECP confirmed. INP