SC seeks affidavit from EC on door-to-door verification of voters


The Supreme Court (SC) has sought an affidavit from the Sindh election commissioner on the door-to-door verification of voters in Karachi. The court also directed the chief election commissioner (CEC) to detail the process in court in writing in respect of verification of voters.
A three-member SC bench presided over by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took up a petition for hearing filed by Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Thursday.
Hamid Khan appeared for the petitioner. The CJ asked Khan if he thought the SC verdict was being adhered to in letter and spirit during the process of verification of voters in Karachi.
Khan said “the work on the ground is other than what the Election Commission (ECP) is doing. We have obtained affidavits from important persons of the city and the ground realities are showing something else”. The ECP told the court that it was working in the city with utmost effort to implement court’s orders.
The CJ said if the ECP did not abide by SC orders in letter and spirit, a very difficult situation would arise.
“Ambiguity is emerging in respect of upcoming general elections. Time will lapse and the ECP will be left with nothing except repenting over the situation.”
The CJ said the court should be told how much verification process had been completed and how many military and FC personnel were working with the ECP.
He observed that “if work is not completed in time, a hue and cry will be raised. The next step regarding holding of election will start soon, when are you going to complete your work”?
Justice Azmat Saeed remarked that it had become beyond comprehension why the ECP had not been able to implement the court’s decision. “The matters should have been finalised when the court had ordered. The concerns and complaints from the people are on the rise,” he added.
“Will you do this job after elections?” the judge asked. Justice Gulzar Ahmad said voter’s verification assignment in Karachi was a test case for the ECP. “It seems the ECP wants to do nothing,” he added. The court inquired about the right of vote in respect of overseas Pakistanis.
Hamid Khan said the ECP had told the court nothing despite judicial orders as to how the process of casting of ballots by overseas Pakistanis would be completed and what rules and regulations would be adopted in this connection.
The court issued directives for fixing the case on February 13, directing the ECP to fully implement its decision and present comprehensive report in this regard before it by the next hearing.