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POs failed to send snapshot of results to ROs on election day, ECP tells court


ISLAMABAD   –  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday revealed before an Election Tribunal of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the presiding officers had not sent snapshots of the results to the returning officer due to non-availability of connectivity.

The election tribunal comprising IHC judge Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri conducted hearing of the petition filed by Shoaib Shaheen Advocate challenging the election result of his constituency of NA-47. The tribunal mentioned in its written order that as provided in Section 13 (2) of the Elections Act, 2017 that the presiding officer shall immediately take snapshot of the result of the count and, as soon as connectivity is available and it is practicable, send it electronically or through other appropriate technologies to the Commission and the returning officer before sending the original documents under section 90.

In this regard, additional director general (law), Election Commission of Pakistan submitted that “as on the election day the connectivity was not available, so presiding officers could not send snapshots of the results to the returning officer as provided under Section 13(2) of the Elections Act, 2017 rather they provided the results physically to the returning officer.” Counsel for respondent No.2 (Returning Officer) also submitted that presiding officers had not communicated the results in shape of snapshots of the count when the connectivity was available rather the same were communicated to the returning officer physically.”

Counsel for respondent No.3 (MNA Tariq Fazal Chaudhary) submitted that written statement / reply in terms of Section 147 of Elections Act, 2017 has been prepared alongwith affidavits of the witnesses / respondent No.3 and Forms-45, 46 and 47 and same will be filed today. He further submitted that in compliance of order dated 08.07.2024, cost of Rs20,000 has been deposited and deposit receipt of the cost will be placed on record alongwith written statement.

Counsel for the returning officer also submitted that cost of Rs.15,000 has been deposited in SOS Village, Islamabad in compliance with order dated 29.05.2024, deposit receipt in this regard is placed on record today and further submits that written statement / reply in terms of Section 147 of the Elections Act, 2017 has been prepared alongwith affidavits and relevant documents and Forms-45, 46, 47, 48 and 49 and same will be filed today (Wednesday).

Then, Justice Jahangiri directed counsel for Tariq Fazal to file written statement / reply by fulfilling all formalities mentioned in Section 147 of the Elections Act, 2017 alongwith Forms-45, 46 and 47 today and also place on record deposit receipt of the cost. He also directed the counsel for Returning Officer to file written statement / reply by fulfilling all formalities mentioned in Section 147 of the Elections Act, 2017 alongwith Forms-45, 46, 47, 48 and 49 today.

He also directed the counsel for the RO to file the record regarding the time of uploading the Forms-45 on the Election Management System (EMS) in terms of Section 13(3) of the Elections Act, 2017. The judged added that on the next date of hearing, the arguments on the preliminary objections taken by counsel for respondent No.3 / Returned Candidate as well as Election Commission of Pakistan and all the parties will be heard. Later, he deferred hearing of the case till July 15 for further proceedings.



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