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Pakistan

IHC issues notices to govt, others over Gillani's intra-court appeal against Senate Chairman election

  • Farooq Naek told the court that a presiding officer could not vote in the election but here he opted to vote
  • The court adjourned the hearing of the case until April 27
14 Apr, 2021

(Karachi) The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued notices to the federal government, Sadiq Sanjrani, the Senate Secretariat, and others over an intra-court appeal against the Senate chairman election, local media reported on Wednesday.

PPP leader and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has filed an appeal in the high court against the decision of a single bench over the Senate chairman election.

“How will you avoid Article 69,” Justice Aamir Farooq questioned Gillani’s counsel Farooq H Naek.

“I want to argue over Article 10 before Article 69,” Naek said. “The matter not related to the assembly’s proceedings but with the election of the chairman Senate,” the counsel argued. “We didn’t challenge the assembly’s proceedings but the election of the Senate chairman,” Naek further said.

“A presiding officer could not vote in the election but here he opted to vote,” Farooq Naek said. “When rejection of seven votes questioned, the presiding officer said, take the matter to the court,” Gillani’s counsel said. “I was the polling agent of Yousaf Raza Gillani in the Senate chairman election,” Naek told the bench.

After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the hearing of the case until April 27.

Earlier, Gillani filed a petition in the IHC challenging the rejection of votes in the Senate chairman election. In the petition, Naek requested the high court to declare the result of the election of Senate chairman held on March 12 as “illegal, unlawful and void”.

He stated that the IHC should declare the rejection of seven votes polled in favor of the petitioner illegal and suspend the notification dated March 13 regarding the re-election of Sadiq Sanjrani as Senate chairman and restrain him from carrying out his duties in this capacity until this petition is decided.

He said that the government attempted to influence the result of the Senate chairman's election.

“During the process of counting of votes the Presiding Officer (Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah) arbitrarily rejected 7 of the votes (the rejected votes) cast in the petitioner’s favor on the ground that stamp is affixed on the name of the petitioner despite the protest of the petitioner’s polling agent Senator Farooq H. Naek that the stamp had been fixed within the box containing the name of the petitioner,” he contended.

“The votes rejected by the presiding officer clearly evince the voter’s intent to vote for the petitioner and no one else,” the petitioner argued. Moreover, he added, these are in compliance with the notice affixed near the polling booth as well as the understanding conveyed by the Senate secretary.

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