LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to make public all unverified votes before the start of polling for the by-election of NA-120.

Justice Ayesha A Malik passed the order in a petition moved by PTI’s candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid for getting verified lists of voters.  The judge directed the ECP to provide voter lists, including unverified votes, to the petitioner and all other candidates taking part in the by-election.

The petitioner said that there were over 29,000 unverified votes of the constituency due to which fair election was not possible. She said National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) did not verify these votes while the Election Commission also did not mention in the prepared lists.  The petitioner requested the court to order ECP to provide verified lists to the candidates and lists of unverified votes should also be made public.  However, the ECP’s counsel opposed her petition saying that it was responsibility of Nadra to verify all the votes. He said the ECP had asked Nadra to verify the votes in question but the authority did not act on.  No one was there to represent the Nadra which irked the court. Justice Malik also expressed dismay over ECP’s lawyer for not presenting voter lists before the court. The judge observed that the objections, if not removed, could affect the result of the by-election. A federal law officer told the court that now time was very short, therefore, change in the voter lists was not possible. –Staff Reporter