NA-122: Tribunal reserves verdict

LAHORE: An election tribunal (ET) on Monday reserved its verdict about alleged rigging in the NA-122 elect constituency of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq after his counsel ended his arguments. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan had challenged the victory of Sardar Ayaz, claiming that the victory of the returned candidate was the outcome of mass rigging.

The Speaker’s Counsel, Barrister Asjad Saeed, ending his arguments said reports of all inspections carried out by the local commission and the National Database and Regulatory Authority(Nadra) found no rigging element from the election record of the constituency.

To a tribunal’s query about counterfoils recovered without thumb impressions and identity card numbers of the voters, the counsel said the result of the election would remain the same even if the votes cast against those counterfoils excluded from the total count.

Barrister Asjad said that petitioner Imran Khan never mentioned his allegations about the rigging before the Judicial Commission formed by the government on the PTI’s demand. He said the registry authority chairman had said before the commission that the proportion of valid polling in country was 97 percent. But appearing in the tribunal, he had maintained that proportion of the valid votes in NA-122 was 99 percent.

He said the alleged irregularities committed by the election staff could not be attributed to the returned candidate. He said his client was never a beneficiary of the alleged irregularities. If there was no irregularity, Imran Khan would not have any ground for his petition, the counsel added.

The barrister said the PTI chief accused presiding officers of corrupt practices but never asked the tribunal to summon them for their witness in the case. The tribunal will announce a verdict in both cases -that of the NA-122 and of the PP-147-on Saturday.

Source: Business Recorder