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SC orders vote verification in Saad Rafique's NA-125

SC orders vote verification in Saad Rafique's NA-125

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered verification of voter thumb impressions and counterfoils in Lahore's NA-125 constituency, where Railways Minister Saad Rafique of the PML-N had defeated Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) Hamid Khan in the 2013 general elections.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to submit a report on vote verification in 90 days.

Hearing a petition filed by Rafique against the decision of an election tribunal that had deseated him from the National Assembly (NA) and ordered re-polling in the constituency, the apex court also ordered PTI leader Hamid Khan to bear expenses of the vote verification process.

In May last year, an election tribunal had ordered re-election in NA-125 after Hamid Khan filed a petition alleging rigging in the 2013 polls.

In response, Rafique approached the apex court which suspended the May 4 decision of the election tribunal to de-seat Rafique “pending a decision” by the court.

Rafique, whose NA membership had been suspended after the tribunal verdict, was re-instated as member of the legislature by the election commission following the SC order.

NA-125 was among the four controversial constituencies — the other three being NA-110 (Sialkot), NA-122 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran) — where PTI had demanded for voters’ thumbprint verification after the 2013 general election to clear the air on the legitimacy of polls.

After the government did not give in to PTI's demand, the party staged a months-long protest in the capital starting Aug 2014.

Related: Parliament watch: Whatever thumbprint scrutiny turns up, PTI ready to take to the streets

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