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Ruling reserved on plea for postponement of by-poll in NA-60

ISLAMABAD: A bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday reserved its ruling on a petition seeking to postpone by-election on a National Assembly seat,  NA-60, in Rawalpindi.

The bench headed by Justice Amir Farooq reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from the petitioner who sought its directives for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to defer the upcoming by-poll in the Rawalpindi constituency until a decision on PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s appeal against life term.

Justice Farooq asked the petitioner to satisfy the court about legality of his plea.

He observed that if need be, the court would issue necessary directives for the ECP and reserved the verdict.

The ECP is set to hold by-elections on 11 National Assembly seats, including NA-60, and 26 provincial assembly seats on October 14.

Earlier in July, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had postponed election in NA-60 Rawalpindi in the wake of PML-N candidate Hanif Abbasi’s disqualification in the ephedrine case.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) having taken cognizance of all the attending circumstances is bound to provide level playing field to the contestants under the Constitution and the law, particularly Section 4 of Election Act 2017.”

The Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Court of Rawalpindi handed down life term to Abbasi in the case related to misuse of controlled chemical ephedrine.

Mr Abbasi was contesting election against Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid from NA-60, Rawalpindi and the PML-N had no covering candidate in the constituency at that time.

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