SHC adjourns Waheeda Shah case to April 24
HYDERABAD: Sindh High Court, Hyderabad Circuit Bench, adjourned the hearing of Syeda Waheeda Shah Bukhari’s case till April 24 when the Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Ali Shaikh would argue on the behalf of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The division bench comprising, Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbassi and Justice Nisar Ahmed Shaikh, heard the arguments of Haider Imam Rizvi, counsel of Bukhari, here on Thursday.
She has challenged the ECP verdict which disqualified her from competing in the elections for 2-year and also invalidated the results of February 25 by-elections in PS-53 constituency in Tando Muhammad Khan district for slapping an ECP official.
She had won the polls by a huge margin, according to the unofficial results.
Rizvi pleaded the court to issue a stay order against the new date of April 26 announced by the ECP to hold by-polls in PS-53, to set aside her client’s disqualification by the ECP and restore the results of February 25 by-elections.
“There are precedents like in the Sohrab Sarki case, 2003, and Arbab Ghulam Rahim’s case, April 14, 2012, when the decisions of the honourable courts favoured the petitioners,” he said in his argument.
He maintained that the Returning Officer of PS-53 Asghar Ali Siyal had the power of a magistrate only for the elections day.
“However, the elections and the alleged offence took place on February 25 but the FIR was registered on February 27 by the RO,” he said.
Responding to the arguments of the deputy prosecutor general, who represented the RO, that the case was not maintainable because the petitioner was also fighting the similar case in a lower court, Rizvi explained to the bench that the nature of the 2 cases were different.
“In the district and session court we have challenged the summary trial against her while before you the honourable high court judges the case pertains to the verdict given by 5-member ECP. The former imposed a penalty of Rs1,000 or a day’s jail term for failing to pay the amount. The latter banned her from participating in the electoral process for 2 years and nullified the by-election results,” he explained.
Bukhari’s lawyer also objected to belated submission of reply by the ECP. The bench after hearing the petitioner’s counsel fixed the next date for April 24 when the DAG and Additional Advocate General, Sindh, will present their arguments.
It also issued notices to Mir Mushtaq Talpur, the contender of Bukhari in PS-53, to appear or submit reply on the next date of hearing.
The court, however, did not issue a stay order against the April 26 by-polls slated to be held in Tando Muhammad Khan.