Pakistan SC chastises a retired army officer for missing a vote that was deemed void. Hearing on Plea, Issues Summon

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday strongly rapped and summoned a retired Army officer after he failed to appear before it during the hearing of his plea seeking the elections to be declared null and void due to alleged rigging.

The February 8 elections have been controversial with several serious allegations of widespread rigging to alter the results. Over 10 days after the voting, there was still no clarity on which party would form the government at the Centre.

Though independent candidates backed by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won the maximum number of seats in Parliament, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have announced that they will form a coalition government after the February 8 elections resulted in a hung Parliament.

The post-poll alliance by the PML-N and the PPP could mean that PTI will not be able to form the next federal government, prompting Khan’s party to allege that the two rival parties were trying to steal the people’s mandate with the help of the powerful establishment.

As the three-member bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and also comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali took up the plea of Brigadier (retd) Ali Khan, the petitioner did not appear before the court, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“Was the application filed only for publicity? This cannot be allowed. We will not allow the Supreme Court to be used in a wrong manner,” the court observed.

It also noted that the plea was filed on February 12 but was reported in the media beforehand.

The court also noted that when contacted, the petitioner’s phone number was found to be turned off.

Subsequently, the apex court issued a notice to the former senior Pakistan Army officer through the defence ministry and adjourned the hearing till February 21.

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