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Gilani files intra-court appeal against dismissal of plea

Gilani files intra-court appeal against dismissal of plea

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday filed an intra-court appeal challenging the dismissal of a petition against the rejection of his seven votes in the election to the office of Senate chairman.

Mr Gilani filed the appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the judgement of its single-judge bench.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had on March 24 dismissed Mr Gilani’s petition, saying the petitioner with the support of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) could remove Sadiq Sanjrani through a no-confidence motion.

The PDM says it had the required numerical strength to elect Mr Gilani as the Senate chairman, but rejection of its seven votes by the presiding officer deprived Mr Gilani of his victory in the contest.

The PDM also states that the presiding officer was biased and that his act of rejecting seven votes was illegal and with mala fide intentions.

Mr Gilani’s petition requested that the order of the single-judge bench be set aside. It further requested the court to set aside a notification about election of Sadiq Sanjrani as Senate chairman.

The petitioner cited Mr Sanjrani, presiding officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah and the Senate Secretariat as respondents in the appeal.

The appeal said the PDM’s combined strength was 51 Senate members while the government alliance had 47 members.

It further stated that President Dr Arif Alvi had on March 11 nominated Muzaffar Shah as the presiding officer, which was a controversial decision because the latter was a member of the Grand Democratic Alliance, which is an ally of the ruling party.

It pointed out that Mr Sanjrani’s first term as the Senate chairman had ended on March 11, but at midnight on the same date he appointed additional sergeant-at-arms (BS-18) in the Senate Secretariat with effect from March 9.

The appeal said the election started with the controversy as the government was attempting to win the election by hook and by crook and also referred to presence of secret cameras in the polling booth.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021

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