The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the earlier order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for re-polling in NA-75 Daska. The apex court while giving a brief verdict in the case rejected PTI’s appeal against re-polling in the entire constituency. The voting in NA-75 will be conducted on April 10. A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial took up an appeal filed by PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi challenging the ECP’s Feb 25 decision to order re-election in the entire constituency. In the short order, Justice Bandial said the court had taken the decision in light of the law, the constitution and its own jurisdiction. The judge also remarked that ‘guidelines’ will be issued to prevent similar incidents in the future. “The bench heard very good arguments in the case and would like to compliment the submissions made by Salman Akram Raja. Shehzad Shaukat’s arguments were also very compelling,” the judge said. “We look at the constitution, the law and our jurisdiction as an appellant court. On account of facts that stand established, we are not going to accept this appeal,” he added. A detailed verdict is expected to be issued later. During Friday’s proceedings, Justice Ata Bandial urged the counsel to state the legal points that were necessary and rely only on the documents on which the commission had made its decision. Lawyer Mian Abdul Rauf prayed that there was no mention of organised fraud in the ECP decision and the decision of the commission was a violation of the law. The judge remarked that the electoral body made the decision without listening to the administration. “It is a fact that the situation in the constituency was bad. It is not right to say that all parties did not get a competitive environment for the election competition. The word ‘competitive environment’ is not used for voters,” the judge remarked. PTI lawyer Shehzad Shaukat asked during the proceedings regarding the disappearance of the presiding officers. “Those responsible for the disappearance should come forward, it is necessary to probe the officers. Which was not done,” he further prayed Justice Muneeb Akhtar also asked why the election material arrived late in the constituency. The DG Law of ECP said Rangers were also present at the polling stations where the presiding officers went ‘missing’. Justice Bandial remarked that two people were also killed and one was injured in a firing incident in the constituency. “The Election Commission failed to take appropriate action in Daska,” he said. “Whoever is responsible for the disappearances of the presiding officers has caused disruption in the electoral process. If the results are affected, re-polling may take place. Ten polling stations are also shown in one building. These details are mentioned in the Election Commission’s own documents.” Speaking to the media after the verdict, PTI’s Malhi said the party will deliberate upon filing a review petition after the detailed judgement is released by the court. He expressed confidence about beating the PML-N and added that he respects the court’s decision in the matter. PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that it had once again been proven that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his ‘false’ government had tried to rob the votes of the people of Daska. “A re-election will not suffice. These robbers will have to answer for stealing the people’s votes and kidnapping the ECP staff,” she said. Maryam congratulated party workers who stood against those stealing votes as well as Nosheen Iftikhar, the party’s candidate for the constituency. The NA-75 by-election, held earlier in February, was marred by violence after clashes between voters and police broke out in multiple places, including polling stations and a police station at several times during the day. The ECP had on Feb 25 ordered re-election in the entire constituency on March 18 after suspicions that the results of the by-poll held earlier may have been falsified. The decision was given on an application filed by Syeda Nosheen Iftikhar, the PML-N candidate for the National Assembly seat. The commission had also ordered the transfer of the Gujranwala Division commissioner and suspension of the Sialkot deputy commissioner as well as other senior administrative and police officers. PML-N leaders and supporters accused authorities of preventing voters from casting their ballots. At least two people were killed and three others injured in a firing incident at a polling station. One of the victims was reportedly a member of the ruling PTI while the other belonged to the PML-N.