An election tribunal comprising Justice (r) Kazim Ali Malik Friday reserved its verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s application for verification of voters’ thumb impressions till March 4.
During the hearing of case in which Khan had challenged the election of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq from NA-122 Lahore constituency, Khan’s counsel requested the court to order verification of voters’ thumb impressions from National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) as it would further support oral evidence provided by the petitioner.
On the other hand, Sadiq’s counsel Barrister Asjad Saeed opposed the request and submitted that it was not the duty of the tribunal to assist the petitioner in collection of evidence and no law compels tribunal to do it. He said it was the petitioner’s duty to provide evidence to prove his allegations. He said that there was no provision of thumb verification in the law and it was a novel method adopted by the tribunals.
Saeed said that usually a petitioner first requests the tribunal to order verification of thumb impressions and then request inspection of record through local commission. However, Khan first requested the tribunal for inspection of record and then verification of thumb impressions, contrary to usual practice, he added. He contended that after inspection of record by local commission, thumb verification was not required.
“If NADRA did not verify even a single vote, would it prove that local commission report is fake?” he questioned. He said that NADRA could not tell whether the votes were fake or not but it could only partially verify voters’ thumb impressions. He pleaded the court to dismiss the application and order petitioner’s counsel to advance arguments on the main petition.
After hearing arguments, the tribunal reserved verdict on the application and observed that it would be announced on March 4.
Later, talking to media, Sadiq’s counsel Saeed termed Khan’s application “delaying tactics” aiming at prolonging in the matter. He said that if the application was accepted, it would waste months.