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NADRA to verify voters thumb impressions in NA-125

27 January, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to verify the voters’ thumb impressions in NA-125 Lahore constituency.

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique had defeated his rival PTI’s Hamid Khan in the constituency in the 2013 general election.

The top court ruled that all expenses for the verification will be borne by the runner up candidate, Hamid Khan.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the plea filed by Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique against his disqualification by an election tribunal. The tribunal had called for re-election in constituencies NA-125 and PP-155 after an application filed by the PTI’s candidate and subsequent findings of irregularities in the records of 2013 general elections by a judicial commission.

Advocate Ahmed Awais, counsel for petitioner Hamid Khan, argued before the bench that the complaints of irregularities in 43 polling stations of the constituency were received, adding Form-14 were either missing or were not signed and stamped by the presiding officer. He further argued that 100 percent votes were polled in 11 polling stations and that around 4,200 votes were rejected.

The top court had passed a similar order in NA-110 case last week in which the ruling party’s candidate and current Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had been elected in the last general election.

Later, speaking to media outside the SC building in Islamabad, Kh Saad Rafiq said his party wanted the rigging issue to be settled once and for all. He said his counsel could have argued the verification of voters’ thumb impressions by NADRA but his party did accept the decision with an open heart.

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