1. In the General Elections that were held on 11.5.2013, the appellant and respondent No. 1 were the main contesting candidates from National Assembly seat NA-267 Kachicum-Jhal Magsi. For 1,47,595 registered voters of this constituency, the Election Commission setup 165 polling stations. In all 90728 votes were polled out of which 2448 were rejected for one reason or the other, leaving the tally of valid votes to 88280. The appellant bagged 42240 votes (48%) and the respondent No. 1 bagged 38915 votes (44%). Between them they both bagged 92% of the total valid votes that were cast in the constituency. Leading with a margin of 3325 votes the appellant was declared returned candidate. The respondent No. 1 was not satisfied with the result. He alleged rigging on the part of the appellant and filed an election petition before the Election Tribunal, Quetta. The challenge was mainly based on two grounds i.e. (i) at the behest of the appellant, the District Returning Officer and Returning Officer were changed without prior notice to any of the contesting candidates and (ii) polling agents of respondent No. 1 were detained for the entire duration of the polling time which facilitated the appellant to cast bogus votes on 40 polling stations.
2. During pendency of the election petition, the respondent No.1 filed an application before the Election Tribunal seeking verification of thumb impressions of the voters of 40 disputed polling stations through biometric system of NADRA. This application was granted. Record reflects that the counterfoils and the ballot papers of 39 polling stations were dispatched to NADRA for verification. NADRA then submitted its report. In the report, it was stated that out of 30,649 votes that were cast on 39 disputed polling stations, there were no CNIC numbers on 2143 counterfoils; 40 votes were not even registered in the constituency; 783 votes were found to be issued more than once; counterfoils of 151 votes did not have fingerprints on them and fingerprints on 4438 counterfoils could not be authenticated through biometric system. Hence, doubt was cast on 7555 votes by NADRA that were polled on 39 disputed polling stations. The Election Tribunal after recording evidence and hearing both the parties, allowed the election petition and ordered fresh election in the constituency.Aggrieved by this decision, the appellant has filed the present appeal.
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