CJP Isa raises question over legal definition of ‘Form-47’
ISLAMABAD: (Suno News) Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa has raised a question over the definition and legal term for "Form-47" that is used after polling showing the number of votes secured by candidates.

The query was raised by the chief justice during a hearing on an electoral dispute involving Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader Azhar Qayyum Nahra whose victory was nullified by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on April 4 in favour of PTI’s Bilal Ejaz as MNA from the NA-81 constituency.

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Justice Shahid Karim had suspended the notification declaring PML-N leader winner. The petition was filed by Bilal Ijaz Chaudhry raising concerns over the election results.

During Monday’s hearing, Nahra’s counsel argued that his client was declared successful after a recount and had approached the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) to challenge the administrative officer’s ruling.

Advocate Ahsan Bhoon further argued that the returning officer issued Form 47 on February 9 and Form-48 on February 11 for the constituency.

To which the chief justice, questioned, "What is Form-47, and what term is used in the law for it?"

Bhoon replied that Form-47 is the preliminary result, and the final result is issued on Form 48. Legally, Form-47 is termed the provisional result, he said.

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Form-48 is crucial in the preparation of election results as it includes the total number of votes cast for each candidate in a specific constituency.

Justice Aqeel Abbasi asked whether the Election Commission of Pakistan can declare someone a winner and then change its decision. “Indeed, the returning officer should have conducted a recount based on your request,” he remarked.

Bilal Ejaz had won the general elections with a clear margin of 8,000 votes but lost in a controversial recount. The ECP issued the victory notification pursuant to orders passed by the LHC.

Bilal Ejaz claimed that he was originally declared the winner by a margin of 8,000 votes, but the ECP s recount illegally favoured Azhar Qayyum.

He alleged that the returning officer had reduced his vote count by 2,500 in the recount.

Bilal Ejaz argued that the ECP had no authority to order a recount after the formation of the election tribunal and requested the court to annul Azhar Qayyum’s victory notification.

The original results revealed that Bilal Ejaz was declared the winner with 117,717 votes, while the PML-N candidate, Azhar Qayyum, finished as the runner-up with 109,926 votes.