NA-122 by-election: Lahore’s election commissioner issued contempt of court notice


A contempt of court notice was issued to the Lahore District Election Commissioner seeking a reply from him by June 19, 2017, by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) central Punjab President Abdul Aleem Khan on Thursday. Advocate Anees Ali Hashmi filed the contempt petition on behalf of Abdul Aleem Khan, and Justice Ayesha A Malik of LHC has issued a notice seeking a reply from Lahore’s election commissioner by June 19.

According to the details, Justice Shahid Waheed of LHC has directed the district election commissioner of Lahore on December 16 last year to provide the record of the by-election to the petitioner, but the election commission failed to do so; therefore, Aleem Khan had filed the contempt of court against the election commission.

NA-122 by-election was one of the most debated elections of the constituency politics of Pakistan, as everyone was closely monitoring the nail-biting contest, in which National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq reclaimed his seat with a very thin margin by defeating one of the close confidants of Imran Khan—Abdul Aleem Khan. The leadership of both the parties took great interest in the election campaign and both the parties used their resources abundantly without having any care of the code of conduct set by the election commission of Pakistan; ultimately, the seat was won by PML-N-backed Ayaz Sadiq in a contest held in October 2015. It is pertinent to mention here that Ayaz Sadiq had won this constituency for fourth consecutive term since 2002 and he has also defeated PTI chairman Imran Khan two times from the same constituency.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Advocate Anees Hashmi—who was representing PTI’s Aleem Khan—said that his client had approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in November 2015 against the rigging of NA-122 by-election. “Aleem Khan wanted to get the access to the record of the election and he was told by the ECP to contact the district election commissioner in this regard,” he said. He further added that more than 30,000 votes were deleted or transferred from NA-122 prior to the polling day to rig the election by the PML-N.

“We wanted an access to these 30,000 votes, but we were provided with the record of only 812 votes by the district election commissioner,” he said. He was of the view that his client then decided to approach the LHC to get justice.