Pak SC to hear petition against last year's general elections

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has admitted a plea by a former judge of the apex court, seeking to declare the 2013 general elections null and void and order fresh polls.

Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has admitted a plea by a former judge of the apex court, seeking to declare the 2013 general elections null and void and order fresh polls.

Former judge of the apex court, Mahmood Akhter Siddiqui and former federal minister Zahid Sarfraz filed identical petitions challenging the legality of 2013 elections and demanding the court to order fresh elections.

After admitting the petitions, the court announced that a three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry will commence hearing from October 29.

Both the petitioners allege that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has failed to conduct the elections in accordance with the law and the same was proved by the protests of some political parties inside and outside the parliament.

The petition argues that last year's general elections were a challenge to the "role and constitutional functions of the Supreme Court, and the court has the duty and power under Article 184(3) of the Constitution to come to the rescue of beleaguered citizens of Pakistan".

The apex court decision yesterday came close on the heels of month-long protests led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Canada-based cleric Tahirul Qadri demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation on the grounds that last year's general elections were rigged.

Sharif has refused to step down and while Qadri has already called off his protest, Khan is still continuing with his demand of Sharif's resignation and fresh elections.  

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