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ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday and challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to hold re-polling for Sialkot’s NA-75 Daska by-elections after declaring as null and void the outcome of the February 19 by-elections.

The polling is scheduled for March 18.

PTI candidate in the by-election of NA-75, Daska, Ali Asjad Malhi, filed a petition in the apex court on Friday, pleading the court to nullify the ECP’s decision of repoling in NA-75.

In his petition, Malhi contended that the ECP did not take into account the facts while pronouncing the decision since it did not properly scrutinize the available record. “And, therefore, there is no logic behind election commission’s decision of re-election in the entire constituency,” the PTI candidate said, and added re-polling in the constituency amounted to again creating law and order situation for the people of that constituency.

The petition further reads that the PTI candidate’s rival candidate belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had already tasted defeat in the by-election. PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi has made PML-N candidate Nausheen Iftikhar, ECP and other respondents in the case. The by-election, which was held in NA-75, Daska on February 19, was marred by complaints of violence and rigging.

The PML-N had accused the government of trying to rig the election by kidnapping 20 presiding officers along with the relevant record. The presiding officers remained missing all night only to return to the constituency the next morning.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had, on February 25, declared as null and void the outcome of the by-election in NA-75, Daska and ordered re-election in the entire constituency. Accepting the PML-N’s request for repolling, the ECP had said that re-election in NA-75, Daska will now be held on March 18.

Announcing its decision, the Election Commission said after examining all the evidence and statements it concluded that the by-election in NA-75 was not free, fair and transparent. The ECP also cited reports of clashes and violence in ordering re-election in all the polling stations of NA-75.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) last week had decided to file two petitions against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision on NA-75 Daska by-election after approval from Prime Minister Imran Khan. Earlier on Thursday, the PTI had filed an appeal in Lahore High Court (LHC) against the ECP’s order pertaining to repolling at all polling stations in the NA-75 Daska constituency. NNI