ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan is set to decide a crucial issue related to disenfranchising women during August 22 by-elections in two National Assembly constituencies in Nowshera and Lakki Marwat districts.
In a significant judgment on August 26, the Peshawar High Court had asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct re-polling in several women’s polling stations in NA-5 Nowshera and NA-27 Lakki Marwat.
The judgment has now been challenged at the apex court as the candidates of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, leading in those constituencies, have been requesting the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment and direct the ECP to notify the results.
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry on September 3 took up for preliminary hearing the appeal filed against the judgment and issued notices to respondents, including the personal staff officer (PSO) to the PHC Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan on whose report the chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the issue and then the impugned judgment was delivered. The court is set to hear the case today.
Advocate Athar Minallah represented PTI candidate for NA-5 Imran Khattak and contended that in general elections only a single female voter had cast vote in NA-32 constituency of Upper Dir, but the high court had not taken notice of that.
Heading a two-member bench on August 26, the high court chief justice had observed that it was regrettable that in a country where a woman twice became prime minister, the female voters had been deprived of their right of adult franchise. internews