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How ECP will act if a party wins more seats than vote strength, asks SC

ISLAMABAD: A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday resumed hearing of the presidential reference seeking the court’s advice over open ballot in the upcoming Senate election, ARY News reported.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja was present in the court hearing.

“The condition of secrecy comes to an end after casting the vote,” Justice Mushir Alam, a member of the bench, observed.

“The election commission could review the votes cast in election to curb the corruption”, Justice Mushir Alam remarked.

“What the election commission will do if a party wins more senate seats than proportional weight of its votes,” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed posed question.

“The vote trading shatters the principle of proportional representation, the system will be destroyed if a party wins more seats than its proportional weight,” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan observed.

“How the election commission determines, whether the election held according to the proportional representation,” the chief justice asked.

“A member could not be stopped from independently exercising his or her right to vote,” the counsel of the election commission said. ” The senate elections would become selection if a member denied to exercise the right to vote with independence,” the counsel further argued.

“The monitoring of votes will require amendment in Article 226 of the constitution,” the ECP lawyer argued.

“After your contentions, the court will hear the stance of the Attorney General,” the chief justice said.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked the attorney general to present his arguments over the proportional representation.

The bench will also hear Barrister Raza Rabbani about the secrecy of ballot and proportional representation, the chief justice further said.

The chief justice also asked about the presence of PML-N counsel Barrister Zafarullah. The court was informed that Barrister Zarfarullah was ailing. “The PML-N counsel should ensure his presence in the court tomorrow, as the case could conclude at any time,” the chief justice said.

“Whether the senate election would stand void if it has no proportional representation,” the chief justice asked. “Definitely the voting remains secret but the seats should remain proportionally correct,” chief justice said.

“The election commission shall ask the party heads about the seat adjustment,” Attorney General Khalid Javed said.

“The election commission has been authorized to curb vote theft. The commission says it will act after theft,” Justice Ijaz remarked. “How the legislation will be possible if the political parties get lesser seats than their proportional weight,” the judge questioned.

“The election commission should get up from its sleep. State institutions are bound to the instructions of the election commission. A bar code or serial number could be inscribed on ballot papers,” state counsel suggested.

“Those pay for vote should surely have some system to know, if the sold voter given vote or not,” chief justice said. “The election commission knows but not disclosing it to us,” the top judge said.

“How those buying votes get assured to receive that vote,” the chief justice asked.

“The people even today carrying bags stuffed with currency in Islamabad. Dishonesty always committed with honesty,” government counsel said. “

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