Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court will today (Monday) take up a petition challenging the election of Muthida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Izharudding Ahmed Khan as chairman district municipal corporation (DMC) west Karachi.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi will conduct hearing of the petition in which the bench had previously barred MQM leader Izharudding Ahmed Khan from taking oath as Chairman District Municipal Corporation (DMC) west Karachi and had issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other respondents.

The IHC bench had issued these directions after Asif Khan of Karachi Ittehad Group challenged ECP order declaring Izharuddin as returned candidate in the elections.

Asif Khan moved the court through his counsel Dr Babar Awan Advocate and adopted before the court that a returning officer during these elections had declared his victory by rejecting 21 votes marked identically against norms of secret balloting.

He argued that his opponent Izharudding Ahmed Khan then challenged returning officer’s decision before ECP who accepted his plea and declared him as returned candidate.

The petitioner who is a resident of  Keamari, Karachi nominated Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), returning officer DMC west/Assistant Commissioner Orangi Karachi, Presiding Officer DMC west/and Izharuddin Ahmed Khan as respondents in his petition.

Asif has challenged the order dated September 1, 2016 by ECP office.

He contended in the petition that he along with respondent Izharudding, participated in the election for the seat of chairman, DMC west Karachi held on August 24, 2016.

He maintained that polls were completed and at the time of counting of the ballot papers, petitioner’s agent raised objections regarding the validity of the 21 votes having identical marks which are against the norms of secret balloting.

The petitioner further argued that then he moved written application to the presiding officer who referred the matter to returning officer for adjudication.

He continued that in presence of all the relevant parties recounting of the voting process was completed and returning officer consolidated the result and petitioner was declared successful candidate having obtained 31 votes while Izharuddin obtained only 12 votes and 21 votes were rejected.

Asif said that respondent Izharuddin then challenged the order of returning officer before ECP that accepted his petition through a short order. Petitioner contended that ECP issued this order without summoning the record and it is liable to be set aside.

Therefore, the petitioner has prayed to the court to declare the ECP order as null and void.

After hearing the arguments, the IHC bench issued notices to the respondents and deferred the hearing till September 19 for further proceedings.