LAHORE - Accepting an application of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chief Imran Khan, the Election Tribunal on Wednesday ordered Nadra to verify thumb impressions of voters in alleged matter of rigging in NA-122, the constituency from where Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was elected as MNA.

Tribunal Judge Kazim Ali Malik announced the reserved verdict on the application moved by PTI Chief Imran Khan and adjourned further hearing until March 11.

The tribunal also ordered Nadra to submit report on PP-147 within a month time after holding verification in the constituency concerned. PTI Chief Imran Khan had filed an application in the tribunal through his counsel Advocate Anees Hashmi seeking verification of voters’ thumb impressions in the constituency through Nadra.

The counsel of Khan told the commission had found lot of discrepancies in the record. The record also proved it that the alleged rigging was pre-planned and it was not fault of the negligence of polling staff. The counsel pleaded the court to direct Nadra for verification of voters’ thumb impressions.

However, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq’s counsel Barrister Asjad Saeed opposed the arguments of PTI Chief’s counsel saying that the verification of the thumb impressions would be wastage of time and money as the matter was about to end.  

He submitted that verification and identification of persons whose thumb impressions were obtained for CNICs until 2005 could not be used for verification. Asjad said that parliamentary committee in the National Assembly had also held proceedings over the inability of Nadra to carry on its business of verification. And DG Nadra also admitted this fact that the life of the ink used for imprinting thumb impressions in the 2013 polls was only between 4 to 6 hours after opening, whereas the polling started at 8 am and concluded at 6pm, i.e. lasting 10 hours, argued Asjad.

He told the tribunal that if the petitioner wanted to get the thumb impressions of voters verified through Nadra he should have asked it earlier when he applied for the constitution of local commission for the inspection of the record.

The present petition showed that the PTI did not want decision on the issue rather it was using delaying tactics, he said. He further said that the commission had already shown the facts and the petition moved by PTI was not maintainable under ‘principle of res judicata’ which barred such claims not raised on the appropriate time.  He prayed the tribunal to dismiss the application.