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ISLAMABAD: Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani challenged the Islamabad High Court’s judgment in the Supreme Court regarding the election of the Chairman Senate.

Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday filed an appeal against the IHC judgment under Article 185 of the Constitution and cited secretary Ministry of Law and Justice, secretary Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Syed Muzzafar Hussain Shah Presiding Officer, to the Election to Chairman Senate, Secretary Senate, incumbent Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, as respondents.

A division bench of the IHC on 31-03-22 had dismissed the PPP leader’s writ petition. Sadiq Sanjrani became the Senate Chairman on 12-03-21.

Advocate Farooq H Naek, who had filed the appeal on behalf of Yousaf Raza Gilani, contended that the judgments passed by the IHC single judge and the Division Bench is in violation of the principles laid down by the apex court in SMC No.1/2022.

The High Court has erred in law while overlooking the aspect that the Petitioner despite obtaining a majority of Senate votes, was declared unelected by invalidating seven of his valid votes merely on the ground that those seven voters had marked the stamp on the petitioner’s name though it was admittedly marked within the box wherein, the candidate’s name was printed.

The counsel stated that the High Court has failed to appreciate that the voters were asked to put a stamp mark in the box of their candidate of choice and the petitioner’s polling agent, at the outset during the count had specifically taken the plea before the presiding officer that the voters had rightly stamped the stamp mark within the box which was required under the rules/guidelines/instructions but the presiding officer did not consider the said argument and arbitrarily announced the order with mala fide intention and for ulterior considerations.

He also stated that the IHC has failed to appreciate and consider the mala fides of the presiding officer floating on the surface of record prima facie showing that neither the process of poll was fair nor just or impartial rather the same was tainted with malice and the Presiding Officer being hailing from the ruling regime was hell-bent to facilitate its party by abusing the due process of law and its official authority/powers.

The lawyer contended that the IHC failed to appreciate that the arbitrary rejection of votes is an attempt to disenfranchise the representatives of the people of Pakistan, it is an attempt to steal the elections with the use of the election machinery itself. This conduct is contrary to Article 19 of the Constitution and if kept unchecked will tantamount to the collapse of the very basic tenants and structure upon which our Constitution is based.

The High Court has failed to appreciate that the Respondent No 6, after taking oath, himself stated the manner of voting for the post of Deputy Chairman Senate by reiterating that the votes have to be stamped in the box bearing the name of the candidate, he further said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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