LAHORE - National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) informed the Election Tribunal on Saturday that six duplicate votes were polled by three voters in NA-125 - the constituency from where federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq of PML-N was declared successful.

Nadra said a total of 1254 thumb impressions out of 2542 counterfoils were authenticated by Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) of Nadra, while its system failed to verify 18 thumb impressions. It said that 84 other thumb impressions were also not decoded due to bad quality of ink used in taking thumb impressions.

Faisalabad Election Tribunal member Javed Rasheed Mahboobi had ordered Nadra to hold inspection of the election material to verify fingerprints of voters and identity card numbers written on counterfoils.

The inspection process was held in the presence of representatives from both sides (Hamid Khan and Khawaja Saad Rafiq).

The report further said that a total of 10 entries were found where no thumb impression was affixed on photo electoral but it was in comparable category by the commission No 2 (NFSA).

The tribunal had randomly chosen five polling stations including 5, 6, 98, 107 and 110 from NA-125 and found many discrepancies including invalid identity cards and used votes. In its report, Nadra found 125 used counterfoils with the CNIC numbers never issued by the Nadra.  After receiving the report, the tribunal adjourned further proceedings till next week, with directions to both parties to come up with arguments.

Advocate Ashtar Ausaf, the counsel of federal minister Saad Rafiq, stated that his client was true winner and was not involved in any kind of rigging. He contended that a single voter could not appear the tribunal to testify that his vote was misused or cast by some other person.

The counsel said that Saad Rafiq was declared successful with the margin of 40,000 votes and even for the sake argument that 248 votes could not be matched; the loser would remain far away from meeting the victory of his client.

He contended that no one from the members of Hamid Khan’s family could testify against their client that fake votes were cast in the constituency concerned.

Hamid Khan, the runner-up candidate of PTI, had filed the petition saying that fake votes were cast in his constituency. He alleged that Khawaja Saad Rafiq rigged the election last year. He pleaded the election tribunal to announce repelling in the constituency concerned.