SC halts re-polling at PB-51 Chaman

Our Correspondent
Friday, Apr 19, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday halted the decision of re-polling at 12 polling stations of Balochistan Assembly Constituency PB-51 Chaman which was scheduled to be held on April 21.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and comprising Justice Ayesha Malik and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, heard the petition filed by Awami National Party’s Asghar Khan Achakzai against re-polling at 12 polling stations of PB-51. The court with the consent of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) halted the re-polling scheduled for April 21 and issued notices to Attorney General and all the parties.

The court directed the ECP to issue a new schedule after ten days for re-polling and adjourned the matter until April 23.

Abdul Khaliq Khan, an independent candidate from PB-51 Chaman, was declared successful with 20,390 votes during the recent general elections held on February 8 while the runner-up candidate was Awami National. Asghar Khan Achakzai of the party had obtained 19,623 votes.

The Election Commission had decided to conduct re-polling on the basis of unnatural vote polling at 12 polling stations No 56. 57, 61, 52, 79, 89, 90, 91, 95, 106, 129 and 130 of Provincial Assembly of Balochistan Constituency No. PB-51, Chaman on 21st April, 2024.

On Thursday, during the course of hearing, counsel for the petitioner requested the court to halt the re-polling and contended that apart from 12 polling stations, there are 11 more polling stations where there was unnatural turnout.

Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar observed that the matter could not be decided at the earliest adding that they will take a decision after the Election Commission’s opinion. Director General DG Law appeared on behalf of the Election Commission and submitted that they have no objection to stop the election until the court proceedings on this matter are completed.

He further submitted that if the court wants it can postpone the election for seven or ten days. Meanwhile, the court with the consent of Election Commission, halted the re-polling, scheduled for April 21.