LAHORE - The Election tribunal on Wednesday issued a detailed verdict over the opening of ballot bags in NA-122 constituency, from where incumbent National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was declared successful in general elections of 2013.

The tribunal, in its 18-page detailed judgment, has appointed a one-man commission comprising retired Session judge Mian Ghulam Hussain to inspect the record and ballot bags in NA-122, besides recounting each vote casted in the constituency concerned.

The tribunal also ordered the verification of Forms 14, 15 and 16 issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan to the presiding officers in NA-122 constituency, with directions to the commission concerned to verify votes through thumbprint impressions.

The judgment stated that PTI chairman Imran Khan was directed to deposit Rs500,000 while MPA Mian Mohsin Latif of PML-N was directed to deposit Rs200,000 each for the purpose of votes checking in NA-122 and PP-147.

The tribunal directed District Returning Officer/District and Sessions Judge and Treasury Officer to make fool-proof arrangements for the transportation of election record from the district treasury to official building earmarked for the inspection. The tribunal also directed the CCPO Lahore to ensure complete security to the officials engaged in transportation of the election record.

The judgment observed that it was tribunal’s primary duty to regulate its proceedings, keeping in view the circumstances of the case and nature of the controversy. It also stated that full opportunity would be given to the returned candidate (the National Assembly speaker) for production of his evidence after disposal of the petitioner’s plea for inspection of the record.

On December 8th, the election tribunal while announcing its short-judgment had allowed petition of Imran Khan and constituted a commission to recount votes casted in NA-122, the constituency from where Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was declared successful.

On other hand, the counsel of NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had decided to challenge the order before the Lahore High Court. Ayaz Sadiq, his counsel said, had consulted him on the matter. He said that the tribunal judge had heard PTI chairman Imran Khan and his six witnesses but had not given a chance to the speaker and his witnesses.

Moreover, he said, the tribunal’s decision was in violation of the Supreme Court’s order in which the apex court had held that tribunal should determine the maintainability of the petition filed first and then take the case forward. He added that the tribunal had issued its decision without determining the maintainability of the petition.