An election tribunal last week, while sending PML-N Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique home, declared the NA-125 polls null and void, ordering the ECP to hold a re-election in the constituency within 60 days. The Faisalabad election tribunal judge, Javaid Rashid Mehboobi, who was camping in Lahore to hear the petition filed by PTI candidate Hamid Khan, passed the orders. The same tribunal also accepted the election petition filed by PTI candidate Hafiz Farhat Abbas against PML-N’s Mian Naseer Ahmed from PP-155, ordering re-polls. The tribunal issued the verdict after observing massive irregularities in the election record and process of both the constituencies. It was mandatory for the presiding officer of every polling station to place his signature and thumb impression on the proforma No XIV, which deals with the counting of votes, but more than half of the 265 polling stations had no thumb impressions and signatures of the officials concerned. The returning officer for NA-125, Khalid Bhatti, compiled the result on the basis of a large number of unverified Performa No XIV. Moreover, the judge specifically mentioned in his verdict that the presiding officers and election staff did not work properly and irregularities and illegalities emerged in polling stations owing to their negligence.
The judge also directed the district returning officer to conduct an inquiry and take legal action against the returning officers, presiding officers and election staff of the two constituencies. Moreover, the irregularities were found in seven polling stations including 5, 6, 107, 110, 111, 120 and 98.