Addressing Inspector General of Police, the Chief Justice said, “This is not an ordinary incident, as this may occur to anyone including you and me if this is allowed to go unnoticed. This is grimmer than the Kifayat Shah incident.” ‘What was Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) doing with an incident of such great proportions which happened inside a polling booth? Election Commissioner asked the IG Sindh adding that “How will you convene free and fair elections if you cannot protect your staff?”
Meantime, the main character in the polling booth manhandling controversy, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate in the by-polls, Wahida Shah tendered her apology to the Chief Justice Chaudhry, saying, “You are both my counsel as well as judge.” The Chief Justice Chaudhry said, ‘Allow us being judge. As regards the lawyer, this is up to you. You are respectable to us.’
How a policeman, Justice Tariq Pervez asked, found a way into the polling booth? Secretary Election Commission Istiaq Ahmed replied police are usually stationed outside the polling booth; but, if something occurs, then, presiding officer calls them in. “As soon as I received the report regarding the incident, I directed the provincial EC to take action,” Secretary EC informed. The Chief Justice Chaudhry said, “You should have gone on the spot.” Justice Khilji said name of Pakistan was sullied by airing the scenes across the world.
Later on, the apex court adjourned the hearing till March 12. Waheeda Shah had slapped presiding officer and others at a polling station in Tando Muhammad Khan during the polling for by-elections on PS-53. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken Suo motu notice of the PPP candidate Waheed Shah torture on female polling staff during by election on Feb 25. The Supreme Court had issued notices to the PPP leader, Sindh IG and Election Commissioner of Pakistan. – onlinenews