The Supreme Court on Friday issued a stay order against the holding of by-polls in Tando Muhammad Khan, PS-53, while admitting the appeal of Waheeda Shah against Election Commission (EC) and Sindh High Court (SHC) orders declaring her disqualified.

SC three-member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, while hearing the appeal issued a stay order against the by-poll scheduled to hold on December 4 in Tando Muhammad Khan, PS 53.

On Nov 4, Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhrudin G. Ebrahim had upheld the disqualification of Shah, a candidate who had slapped an election official during polling on Feb 25 in the by-election of the PS-53 constituency of Sindh Assembly. Her disqualification had barred her from being elected as a member of an assembly for two years.

According to the CEC’s verdict, Shah had been found guilty of slapping Presiding Officer Habiba Memon and others during the polling of by-elections at the polling station No 16 and had therefore been found guilty of interfering in the polling process.

The ECP had declared the poll of PS-53 void under Section 103-AA of the Act and disqualified Shah from being elected as a member of an assembly for two years under Section 100 of the Act by separate majority decisions.

Subsequently, the Sindh High Court had maintained her conviction but quashed her disqualification on the ground that the power to disqualify under Section 100 of the Act rested exclusively with the Chief Election Commissioner and not with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Shah was subsequently declared disqualified by the CEC.