SC halts NA-154 by-election, restores membership of Siddique Baloch

Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday suspended Election Tribunal (ET) verdict and stopped by-elections in NA-154 Lodhran, scheduled on October 11, 2015.

The three-judge bench, headed by Justice Saqib Nisar issued the verdict on the petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Siddiqui Baloch, in which he had challenged his disqualification for life.

The PML-N lawmaker who contested the 2013 poll as an independent candidate and later joined the PML-N, was de-seated when the tribunal set aside his election on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s central organiser Jahangir Khan Tareen.

Besides pointing out massive irregularities in the election, Multan tribunal judge Zahid Mehmood had disqualified Baloch for possessing bogus educational qualification and concealing facts.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, the counsel for PTI’s Jahangir Tareen, during the hearing requested the court to not issue a stay order against the upcoming by-polls, saying that the apex court’s decision on the appeal challenging the tribunal decision on NA-154 should be issued after the by-elections.

In response, Justice Nisar maintained that hundreds of thousands of rupees go into holding elections, hence if the decision on the appeal was issued after the by-polls, it could result in a big loss to the national kitty.

After hearing all arguments, the court issued a stay order against implementation of election tribunal’s decision regarding NA-154 and subsequently reinstated Baloch as an MNA.

Baloch’s election in NA-154 result was challenged by Jehangir Tareen — who had lost to Baloch — through an election petition filed under Section 52 of the Act, claiming that Baloch possessed fake secondary education, intermediate and undergraduate degrees and he committed illegal practices on polling day.

Talking to media after the court verdict, PTI candidate Jahangir Tareen said the ruling PML-N is hiding behind stay orders and the verdict is clear that PTI rules the heart of people of Pakistan.

He said that courtiers of the PML-N used to boast they will fight in the court of public, but ran away from by NA-154


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