ECP officials put on notice: Amin Aslam files petition -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

ECP officials put on notice: Amin Aslam files petition

RAWALPINDI, Feb 28: Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench here on Thursday issued notices to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and returning officer (RO) of NA-57 Attock-I, asking them to submit their reply to a writ petition filed by Malik Amin Aslam, an independent candidate contesting from the constituency in February 18 general elections.

The divisional bench of the LHC, comprising Justice Mohammad Akram Qureshi and Justice Kazim Ali Malik, admitted the petition of Amin Aslam who had sought a recount of all rejected votes.

Mr Aslam had lost elections to Sheikh Aftab Ahmad of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by a margin of 348 votes.

The divisional bench directed the respondents to submit their reply on March 4.

In his petition Amin Aslam stated that a total of 7,066 votes were rejected and he requested the returning officer to recount the rejected votes for his satisfaction.

He said when the recounting was conducted by the returning officer, out of a total of 236 polling stations only 150 polling stations could be physically checked and out of those 150, 24 had no envelopes carrying rejected ballot papers.

The returning officer observed the missing envelopes as ‘not found’.

The petitioner said out of these 24 polling stations, 20 were won by Sheikh Aftab Ahmad.

He said illegality had been established on the part of the returning officer as all the rejected votes of the remaining 184 polling stations had not been counted. As a result he suffered a narrow defeat.

Amin Aslam had appealed to the ECP for a recount of the total rejected votes but his request was turned down.

Making ECP secretary, district returning officer Attock, RO and seven other contesting candidates respondent, Malik Amin Aslam prayed to the court that the returning officer should be directed to produce all rejected votes from all polling stations for the recount and the unofficial result should be declared null and void till all rejected votes were counted.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/29/2008