ISLAMABAD - The opposition Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and its leader Aleem Khan yesterday lost the battle for NA-122 constituency in court by failing to provide even a single evidence of irregularity with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) expressing anger over the alleged false affidavit provided by the losing candidate.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced its much-awaited judgment over the controversy of ‘illegal vote transfer’ in NA-122 rejecting the allegations of PTI and its candidate Aleem Khan. The court rejected results of the by-election in the constituency.

The PTI had challenged the results of by-election held on October 12 last year after its candidate Aleem Khan lost the electoral contest to PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq. Mr Khan alleged that some 28,000 were transferred by authorities soon after the ECP announced schedule for the by-polls.

The ECP’s bench under CEC Justice (retired) Sardar Raza Khan ruled yesterday that the petitioner (Aleem Khan) intends to convert a simple application under Article 19Ainto a matter of investigative nature and indirectly holding a trial which is the job of Election Tribunal. “The commission (ECP) declines to adhere to unlawful assertions,” the order issued by the ECP’s bench said thus putting an end to the allegations trumpeted by the PTI that PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq won the constituency through unfair means.

The ECP warned the PTI instead that the affidavit provided by the petitioner ‘were absolutely false and hence the commission reserves its authority/right to proceed against them in accordance with law after final decision by the tribunal concerned”.

The PTI had submitted more than hundred affidavits on part of the aggrieved voters who said they had applied for transferring their votes to NA-122. But when the record was checked from Nadra, it emerged that the voters were never voter in NA-122 and rather they had their votes registered in Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

And some affidavits submitted by PTI on part of voters whose vote had been transferred from NA-122 too emerged to be absolutely false as the voters belonging to Swat districts had never been voters in Lahore.

Under the Representative of People’s Act or ROPA, the sub section 3 of the act can punish a voter for three years coupled with financial penalty for submitting false statement about his vote transfer.

However, the commissioner accepted the plea of PTI regarding access to the voters’ data which the opposition candidate alleges has been transferred after the schedule for by-polls in NA-122 was announced.

The commission in its judgment said it was the right of each citizen to get access to vital public information. It allowed the PTI’s leader to check the record of all voters in NA-122 for its satisfaction.

Under Section 45, all documents retained by the commission except the ballot papers can be requested and inspected by the public. The PTI can also get access to the copies of supplementary lists published in July 2015, including records justifying any additions or deletions, and records of any additions made in the electoral rolls after the announcement of NA-122 by-election schedule, the ECP said.

A senior ECP official privy to the in-camera trial told The Nation after the judgment was announced that it was ‘much ado about nothing’ referring to PTI’s repeated allegations of rigging in the by-polls held in constituency of Lahore. It is to be mentioned here that PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan had threatened recently to take to street if justice was not done in the issue of vote transfer in NA-122 while Aleem Khan had asserted that Speaker Ayaz Sadiq will once again lose the seat.

PTI’s main lawyer Salman Akram Raja and Aleem Khan did not show up at the final judgment though PML-N’s lawmakers including Daniyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry were observed on the occasion.