KARACHI - The returning officer of the PS-53 constituency, on Monday, completed the proceedings for summary trial in the Waheeda Shah slapping case.
Waheeda - the PPP candidate for the by-poll to PS-53, Tando Muhammad Khan - recorded her statement before Returning Officer Ghulam Murtaza Siyal at the provincial election commissioner’s office.
The officer has already recorded statements of Presiding Officer Habiba Memon and Assistant Presiding Officer Shagfuta Memon, whom Waheeda slapped at a polling station lat month. The returning officer will present the inquiry report to the Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday (today). The ECP will decide the fate of Waheeda; whether to disqualify her. Although the ruling PPP’s candidate has won the by-poll with a heavy margin, the ECP has withheld the election result due to Waheeda’s slapping the polling officer - an offence under election rules.
Meanwhile, Waheeda Shah avoided talking to the media on the premises of the provincial election commission. Her counsel, Mustafa Safvi, said that his client, in her statement, termed the slapping incident as “the result of a misunderstanding”.
He told the media that Waheeda had also presented ‘some evidences’ (to the returning officer). The lawyer said when the PPP candidate arrived at the polling station, she observed that ‘irrelevant’ persons were present there that created in her mind “the doubts about rigging by her opponents”.
“Besides, the polling staff were not wearing their identity cards which was a violation of the rules,” the counsel contended while adding that his client had not intentions of beating the polling officer, as the incident was a mere misunderstanding. “Mrs Waheeda Shah has not sought apology in her statement,” her lawyer told the media, adding that his client had decided to plead her case before all forums. It may be mentioned here that the chief justice of Pakistan has taken suo motu notice of the incident.
Waheeda Shah will appear before the Supreme Court on Tuesday (today).