Imran Khan moves SC to form judicial commission on polls 'rigging'

Imran Khan urges formation of commission consisting of serving SC judges "holding no bias towards anyone"

Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui
Security officers escort Pakistans former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan May 12, 2023. — Reuters
Security officers escort Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan May 12, 2023. — Reuters

  • Khan urges that commission "inquire, audit and examine" Feb 8 polls.
  • He also requests suspension of federal and Punjab governments.
  • Plea states people elected have breached public trust via fraud.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan Wednesday moved the Supreme Court, requesting the formation of a judicial commission to "inquire, audit and examine" the manner and process of the February 8 general elections held in the country.

The politician, who remains incarcerated at the Adiala jail following conviction in multiple cases, has filed the petition in light of the rigging allegations levelled by his party and others in the aftermath of "manipulation and fraud in the election results".

The petition, filed by senior lawyer Hamid Khan on behalf of the PTI founder, urged that the apex court form of a judicial commission — consisting of serving SC judges holding no bias towards anyone — to "inquire, audit and examine the manner and process of general elections of 8 February 2024 and the developments that took place thereafter of compiling false and fraudulent results rendering winners into losers and losers into winners".

Khan, in his plea, prayed that "all the consequential acts of forming governments at the federal and Punjab levels be immediately suspended" until the result of the judicial commission's probe is made public.

"It is also prayed that all that is required to be done in the best interest of the nation, its electoral mandate and constitutional dispensation may kindly be ordered including requisite orders, directions and reliefs," the plea added.

The government, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (ECP), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) have all been named respondents in the plea.

According to the petition, the general elections were "openly rigged" with their results "manipulated".

"The people allegedly elected and returned to Assemblies are be breaching the public trust by exercising the state authority by way of fraud," it added.

The plea further read that the country's Constitution cast a heavy duty upon the ECP to hold free, fair and transparent elections in Pakistan, but the polls were "massively rigged" and "manipulated with the help of Returning Officers (ROs) appointed by the electoral authority with involvement of even the caretaker set ups.

"It has failed to perform its duties as given in Articles 218, 219 and related provisions of the Constitution as result of the elections held on 8 February 2024 were massively rigged through the Returning Officers (ROs) appointed by Respondent No.2 and all care-taker governments were part of this fraud upon the electorate," the petition added.

It should be noted that since the conduct of the general elections in Pakistan, several political parties as well as independent candidates have raised questions over the transparency of the polling process, which was held across the country last month.

Numerous protests and rallies were led by political parties and politicians who weren't satisfied with the results, terming them "rigged" and manipulated" by the then-caretaker set ups as well as the electoral body.