ISLAMABAD  - A Division Bench (DB) of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday granted conditional permission to PML-N aspirant for Senate elections Raheela Magsi to contest the polls.

In this regard, the IHC bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq issued directions to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to notify her victory till adjudication of this matter. The IHC dual bench further directed ECP not to act in a discriminatory manner against Magsi and review candidatures of all the Senate candidates under the principle that whether they transferred their votes from one province to another after the announcement of election schedule.

The DB also directed the ECP to submit a report in this regard.

During the hearing, senior member of the bench Justice Athar Minallah remarked that transferring vote from one province to another and contesting Senate election is a constitutional fraud and the court cannot overlook this matter.

Therefore, the bench issued notices to the Attorney General of Pakistan and advocate generals of all the four provinces seeking their reply in this matter within fortnight.

The IHC division bench issued these directions while hearing in the writ petition of Raheela Magsi whom ECP had disqualified for contesting Senate elections at the application of PPP Senate candidate from Islamabad Nargis Faiz Malik.

Nargis Faiz had maintained that Masgi hails from Tando Allahyar and got her vote transferred to Islamabad for contesting Senate elections from the federal capital.

Then, Magsi challenged her disqualification that was heard on Wednesday. Besides this matter, IHC bench also heard Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) Dr Shireen Mazari's petition against the candidature of Magsi. The counsel for Raheela Magsi, Iftikhar Hussain Gillani Advocate, contended before the court that the law permits a citizen to transfer his/her vote from one area to another.

The counsels for Nargis Faiz Malik, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Amjad Iqbal Qureshi advocate adopted before the court that Magsi's vote was registered in Tando Allahyar and she got her vote transferred to Islamabad after the election schedule for Senate was announced that is an illegal practice.  At this, Justice Athar Minallah observed that all the political parties had been doing the same, then why ECP raised objection over the candidature of Raheela Magsi only.

The counsel for Magsi contended that it is a customary practice and some Senators had already got elected unopposed. He further maintained that ECP acted in a discriminatory manner against his client. Justice Athar Minallah observed that it is a constitutional fraud.

Previously, Nargis Faiz Malik's counsel had stated that Article 59 of the Constitution guaranteed equal representation in the Senate from all the federating units. He added that if a person from Sindh gets elected from federal capital, he/she would not know problems of the area. Raheela Magsi has been a resident of Tando Allahyar and she was elected Nazim from the same area.

Raheela Magsi is a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for the women's reserved seat. In her petition, she adopted that the transfer of a vote cannot form the basis for the rejection of her nomination papers as the ECP has itself stated in categorical terms that section 20 of the electoral rolls act regarding transfer of vote did not apply to the Senate elections.

She further said that in the cases of some other candidates, ECP has cleared their candidatures but it was a discriminatory act towards her.