The Islamabad High Court has rejected a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Ali Nawaz Awan against the victory of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) joint nominee Yousaf Raza Gillani in the Senate elections held on March 3.
The high court was requested to declare former prime minister Gillani’s victory null and void on account of alleged rigging during the election in a plea filed on Tuesday. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said the case pertaining to Gillani’s victory in the election was in the Election Commission of Pakistan, urging the petitioner to approach the election watchdog instead of bringing such matters to the courts.
On Tuesday, PTI MNA Awan filed a plea against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader in the high court. Through his counsel Adnan Iqbal, the lawmaker informed the court that Gillani was a “convicted person” which made him ineligible for a Senate seat. The petition had also made Gillani’s son Ali Haider Gillani a respondent in the case.
On March 2, a video of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son, Ali Haider, surfaced on social media in which he was allegedly instructing parliamentarians on how to waste their vote in the Senate polls. The former prime minister won the Senate elections against Abdul Hafeez Sheikh of the ruling PTI from Islamabad the next day which created doubts over the transparency of the elections.
Subsequently, the PTI had termed this video as “proof” of pre-poll rigging and urged ECP to take notice of it. The ruling party had also filed a petition in the ECP asking it to withhold the victory notification of the former premier who staged an upset against its candidate Hafeez Sheikh.
The Election Commission, however, refused to entertain the request and asked the PTI leader to file their plea against Gillani after making changes to it. According to the PTI, the plea will be submitted to the ECP on Wednesday again.