SHC restrains tribunal from passing order against CM’s victory from PS-29

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The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday restrained the Election Tribunal Karachi from passing final order on an election petition that challenged elections to the provincial assembly seat PS-29 Khairpur won by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

A division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar had taken up a petition filed by Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who approached the court seeking transfer of election petition challenging his election victory from Election Tribunal Karachi to some other tribunal.

While adjourning the hearing till January 16, the bench gave time to the representatives of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to submit comments on the petition. The court also directed its office to place the matter before the SHC chief justice to constitute a special bench to hear the case.

Shah, president of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) Sindh chapter, had won provincial assembly seat PS-29 in the May 11, 2013, general election. His rival, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Syed Ghous Ali Shah, runner-up, challenged his elections alleging that the massive irregularities were committed in the elections and he sought chief minister’s disqualification.

Advocate Farooq H Naik and Shazia Hanjrah, who represented the winning candidate, submitted before the judges that the presiding officer of the election tribunal Justice (r) Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani, who was pursuing the proceedings on election petition, was partial and biased against their client.

They said Shah had filed an application under Section 58 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1976 before the ECP on December 10 requesting it to transfer the election petition from the Election Tribunal Karachi to any other but the same was rejected.

They pleaded the court to order transfer of the election petition regarding PS-29 from Election Tribunal Karachi to any other tribunal.