SC disposes of petition seeking annulment of Feb 8 general elections

SC disposes of petition seeking annulment of Feb 8 general elections

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday disposed of a petition seeking the annulment of February 8 general elections.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising and including Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali heard the petition.

The top court also imposed a fine of Rs500,000 on the petitioner over his failure to appear before the court.

In his application filed last week, petitioner Brig (retd) Ali Khan urged the court to order new elections within 30 days to be held under the direct supervision and oversight of the judiciary “to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability”.

He had also sought a stay order to stop the formation of a new government till the case was decided.

During the hearing today, the CJP inquired about the identity of the petitioner. To this, the court was apprised that the applicant is a former military officer who was court-martialed in 2012.

"The state should ensure that a court-martialed person does not use the rank of brigadier," the court remarked.

Apprising the court on the attempts to establish contact with the petitioner, the police visited the petitioner’s residence and pasted the notice on the entrance.

It was further revealed during the hearing that the petitioner had sent an email to the court stating that he was travelling abroad and had attached details of the ticket, boarding pass and other documents.

CJP remarked that our office verified that the email belonged to Ali Khan, and he also requested to withdraw the petition citing his unavailability for the court appearance.

“According to the documents, the petitioner took a connecting flight from Doha to Bahrain.

He is a strange man. People take return tickets because they are cheap. He took a one-way ticket. It appears to be a publicity stunt,” the CJP remarked.

Meanwhile, Justice Mazhar underscored that as per the petitioner himself, he neither spoke to any media outlet nor filed the application.

During the previous hearing, CJP Qazi Faez Isa had ordered the authorities concerned to find the complainant and present him before the Supreme Court, observing that court cannot be subjected to such mockery.

Subsequently, the apex court issued a notice to the petitioner, Brigadier (rtd) Ali Khan through the defence ministry and adjourned the hearing until February 21.

The SC noted that the petitioner had identified himself as a former brigadier and when contacted again, his phone number was found to be turned off and no contact could be established via WhatsApp either.

The top judge had further directed the additional attorney general to coordinate with the relevant Station House Officer (SHO) and present the complainant before the court.