ECP gives last chance to PTI leader Ibrarul Haq for evidence


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday granted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ibrarul Haq a last opportunity to produce documentary evidence in order to substantiate his complaint that sought the declaration of election of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentarian Ahsan Iqbal from National Assembly’s (NA) constituency NA-78 (Narowal-II) null and void.

A two-member bench of the commission comprising of Justice (r) Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi and Justice (r) Ms Irshad Qaiser asked the counsel for Haq to produce any evidence that Ahsan Iqbal had rigged the general election in connivance with other officials.

In response, junior counsel for Ibrarul Haq requested the commission to provide one last opportunity for furnishing documentary evidence which is in custody of Haq’s senior counsel.

Appearing before the commission on behalf of Ahsan Iqbal, advocate Umer Sajjad Chaven urged the two-member bench to dismiss the complaint as it is not maintainable.  Chaven argued that the complaint is not maintainable on the ground that time limit of sixty days as provided in Section 9(3) of the Election Act, 2017 has expired.  He also added that the election of the constituency has attained finality so, the commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint anymore.

Advocate Chaven further argued that under the said Act, the commission can only declare elections null and void if there is any grave illegality found on the face of record, adding no evidence of any illegality has been provided by the complainant despite the fact that he had been given several opportunities.

Responding to a query of the commission, the junior counsel for Haq submitted that he is not aware whether the complainant has filed a petition before the Election Tribunal or not; however, the complainant is seeking legal remedy from the commission in the current matter.

Seeking the last opportunity, Haq’s counsel submitted that the lead counsel would appear and present his case before the commission during the next date of hearing.

After hearing both the parties in the matter, the bench has granted the PTI leader one last opportunity to prove his case otherwise, the commission will give its decision on the matter in accordance with the law and record available with it.

The hearing was adjourned till October 24.