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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Saturday, dismissed Commissioner Rawalpindi, Liaquat Ali Chatha’s allegations, saying without any proof to support, allegations do not hold any weightage.

Chatha in a press conference earlier in the day at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium claimed that 13 candidates from Pindi were forcefully declared winners, adding that “we gave the losing candidates leads of 50,000 votes”. He said the chief election commissioner and chief justice of Pakistan are responsible for the alleged rigging.

The Supreme Court has decided not to take suo motu on the Commissioner’s allegations. Justice Faez had convened a consultation meeting in the chambers to examine the accusations made by the Rawalpindi commissioner. The sources said that Justices Muneeb Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, Ayesha Malik, and Athar Minallah were also present during the deliberations. Following a careful examination of the allegations, the participants decided against taking suo motu notice on the matter.

CJP Isa asks for evidence in response to Rawalpindi Commissioner Chatha’s allegations of rigging

In an informal interaction with the media in the Supreme Court premises, the chief justice said, “you can level allegations all you want, it is your right but present evidence to back it. Whether good or bad, it will be determined later.” He said: “Someone can blame me for theft or murder tomorrow. If hurling allegations is your right, give me evidence along with it too.”

Justice Faez expressed concerns about the potential for baseless accusations, stating, “Anyone can make allegations; it is their right to do so, but it should be accompanied by evidence.” He further pointed out the lack of evidence submitted by the Commissioner Rawalpindi, likening it to accusations of theft and murder without any substantial evidence.

The CJP stated that his role was only restricted to the facilitation of the conduct of elections. “If someone did not want elections that’s another story,” he said.

The chief justice questioned his and apex court’s connection to the polls, saying that the court only receive and decide upon petitions linked to elections. He said the apex court did not order the elections; instead, it asked both constitutional authorities — the president and the election commission — to stage the elections after arriving at a consensus on the date.

The reasons for not taking suo motu is that a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Mussarat Hilali, will hear the petition of an ex-Brigadier Ali Khan tomorrow (Monday).

The petitioner has sought to declare February 8 general elections null and void and hold fresh elections within 30 days. He also sought general elections under the supervision and oversight of the judiciary “to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability”.

The petitioner claimed that general elections 2024 were marred by gross violations of democratic principles, including the denial of a level playing field to all political parties, particularly the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The Rawalpindi Division comprises 13 National Assembly seats, on which 11 Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates were successful, while the rest were secured by an independent candidate and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The division also has 27 provincial seats — on which PML-N was successful on 15 and independents on 11.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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IMTIAZ CASSUM AGBOATWALA Feb 18, 2024 03:03pm
It is correctly stated that without proof, allegations are meaningless . However it is not for the courts to determine its authenticity, but the job of election commission .
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Bk Feb 18, 2024 07:56pm
But when you are listening to cases against PTI you usually don’t need evidence!
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