SC directs ECP to conduct door-to-door verification of voters in Karachi


The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct proper and complete door-to-door verification of electoral rolls in Karachi for conducting free, fair and transparent election. The court also directed ECP, if required, to take assistance of the army and Frontier Constabulary (FC) for carrying out the process. A three-member SC bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Gulzar Ahmed announced judgment in identical petitions, filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan, the PML-N and Jamaat-e-Islami seeking verification of the voter’s lists in Karachi. The 24-page judgment said in view of the peculiar security situation in Karachi , such verification must be carried out by the ECP with the help and assistance of Pakistan Army and the FC. The judgment also ruled that voters should not be transferred from one area to another without their (voters) consent, as it is right of every citizen to cast vote at his/her desired place. The court ruled that it was clear that electoral rolls of the city of Karachi were required to be revised by the ECP. Earlier, the court on November 28, 2012, had reserved the judgment in the instant case after hearing to both parties. The court had accepted the concerns expressed by Pakistan People’s Party, Jamaat-e-Islami and Tehreek-e-Insaaf about the shifting of voters name from Karachi to other provinces, directing the Election Commission of Pakistan to examine the matter per the consent of the people in Karachi.
The court had directed the ECP to examine the possibility of reversing the names of voters back to Karachi where their names were previously recorded, leaving an option with such voters to transfer their votes, if they desired, to any other town/city of Pakistan, by making a request to the respective representative of Election Commission of Pakistan before the announcement of the schedule of elections. “There can be no escape from the fact that a free, fair, just and transparent election is the very heart of our democratic system, as envisaged by the Constitution,” the judgment added.
The court held that such elections must not only be held in a fair, just and honest manner but also appear to be so in order to inspire the confidence of the electorate.
The judgment further ruled that the provisions of Article 219 of the constitution and the Electoral Rolls Act, 1974 and rules framed there under must necessarily be interpreted in manner so as to achieve the said object. Consequently, The Election Commission must fulfil its obligation cast upon it by Article 218 to ensure holding free, fair and transparent elections and to achieve such purpose seek assistance, if necessary from the executive authorities in the federation in this behalf that are obliged to render such assistance by virtue of Article 220.
“There is no denial of the fact that free, fair, honest, transparent and just election is demand of the day as the parliamentary system of the country is strengthening day by day,” the court ruled, adding that all eligible citizens had a fundamental right of franchise, which must be protected by issuing appropriate directions.
The verdict observed that Karachi had a peculiar background that included a serious law and order situation, detailed stock of the same has been taken by this court in the case of Watan Party vs Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2011 SC 997).
The court recalled that in the said judgment categorical directions were made for delimitation of the constituencies of Karachi with the observation to avoid political polarisation and to break the cycle of ethnic strife and turf war, boundaries of administrative units like police station, revenue estates, etc, ought to be altered so that the members of different communities may live together in peace and harmony, instead of allowing various groups to claim that particular areas belonged to them and declare certain areas as “no go” areas under their fearful influence.
The judgment further ruled that the discrepancies in the electoral roll of Karachi identified by the learned counsel for the petitioners by way of example, “examined in conjunction with the admitted position of the Election Commission that a door-to-door verification of the entire residents of Karachi had not been carried out leads to the conclusion that the electoral rolls of Karachi do not inspire confidence and the possibility that a significant number of residents of Karachi may have been disenfranchised cannot be ignored”.
“An accurate Electoral Roll is a sine quo non for the holding of a free, fair and transparent election, which is not only the command of the constitution but also a fundamental right of the citizens, which appears to have been compromised qua the residents of Karachi,” the verdict added. The judgment recalled that the court while deciding the case of Workers’ Party Pakistan (supra) had already highlighted the importance of preparation of the electoral list to ensure free and fair elections and had held that fair, free, honest and just elections were since qua non for strengthening of democracy. To achieve this goal, accurate preparation/revision of electoral roll was immediately required to be undertaken by the Election Commission through credible and independent agencies, the ruling added.


  1. It would be great help for voter like me whose vote is registered in Jamshaid town Karachi without my knowledge and information.It is matter of shame for me that my ghost last year voted for MQM goon in jamshiad sad:(

  2. By the way as SC is directing to get correct data of voters in Pakistan same like that on opposite some some ghost groups have started setting/renovating their secret offices in different areas of Pakistan to secure their bogus vote powers which will be activated as per demand and deals of politicians.lets see who is able to dominant on other but ghost voters producers have started their task too.

  3. I must say that it is a daunting task to verify each registered voters through their doorstep. This is more difficult than the nation consensus counting that is undertaken each year.

Comments are closed.