Will resume hearing of case against tribunal’s verdict to de-seat the PML-N’s Siddique Baloch
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has expressed disappointment over the reaction of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf’s (PTI) supporters to its stay order on an election tribunal’s verdict to de-seat Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Siddique Baloch.
Siddique Baloch was unseated from NA-154, Lodhran-I constituency by the election tribunal on August 26 over a complaint filed by the PTI Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen. However, Baloch had approached the apex court, which granted stay against the tribunal’s verdict on September 29.
Resuming hearing of the case on Wednesday, the head of the apex court’s three-judge bench Justice Mian Saqib Nisar told the counsel for Jahangir Tareen that he has been hurt by the way the PTI had reacted to the court’s order.
Talking to the media on September 28, Tareen had said the PML-N hid behind the judiciary whenever it anticipated defeat in an election. The PTI supporters had also severely criticised judiciary on social media for allegedly backing the PML-N.
Justice Saqib said, “We are being accused of granting the stay when you (the PTI’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan) had yourself conceded to stay the by-elections.”
Makhdoom, however, told the apex court that he never argued cases outside the court and he never commented on cases or appeared on television whether he won or lost a case. The PTI counsel suggested to Justice Saqib to read Surah Al-Furqan Ayat 63 from the Holy Quran to find solace.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Shahzad Shaukat – the counsel for Siddique Baloch – requested the court to adjourn the case till the next week as he could not prepare the case due to his mother’s illness.
Justice Saqib replied that the court was ready to accommodate the counsel but he should have sought prior approval from the counsel for the PTI leader. “I do not want to hear that the court is protecting and sheltering the petitioner (the PML-N candidate),” he said.
Tareen counsel, however, told the court that his client had no objection if the matter was adjourned as the applicant’s counsel had a personal problem. The court, however, decided to adjourn further proceedings till Thursday (today). The bench also hinted at concluding the hearing today (Thursday).
Talking to media after the hearing, Tareen said he would repeat his statement that his rivals were trying to run away from the elections. “I had said the PML-N is taking shelter of the courts,” Tareen said, adding that he was happy that a long adjournment was not granted by the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2015.