Claim: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has declared the election results for three seats won by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) null and void, including the seats NA-119 and PP-159, won by Maryam Nawaz Sharif in the General Elections 2024. 

Fact: Maryam Nawaz’s victory has not been overturned. The court dismissed the petitions challenging the election results, filed mostly by PTI-backed candidates, as it urged defeated candidates to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). 

Elections 2024

According to the results issued by the ECP, independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are leading by winning the most seats in the National Assembly. However, no political party has been able to secure a simple majority to form the government. 

Protests have erupted across the country following allegations of widespread rigging during the general election, which were levelled by Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and other nationalist groups. With no clear winner declared, the country is in turmoil as multiple parties have laid claim to the government.

The LHC recently dismissed petitions challenging the election results of 18 national and provincial constituencies while passing a ruling on the maintainability of the petitions. High courts in Karachi and Peshawar have summoned the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to address similar challenges. 

These disputes inundate courts across the country as independent candidates backed by the PTI continue to challenge provisional election results. The petitions, heard in high courts in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar, contest discrepancies between the data on Form 47, issued by returning officers (ROs), and the data on Form 45, which is the primary document containing data on candidates’ votes per polling station. Form 46 contains details of ballot handling, while Forms 48 and 49 compile total candidate votes in a constituency and present the official outcome, respectively.

The LHC directed petitioners to seek redressal from the ECP under the Election Act, leaving the decision to compile results with or without the applicant’s presence to the Commission’s discretion. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 11 February 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user @sufi_sheikhni claimed that the Lahore High Court issued an order declaring the election results for three seats won by the PML-N null and void, including the seats won by Maryam Nawaz Sharif. The hearing will be held on 12 February, the tweet adds. 

Maryam Nawaz secured victory from PP-159 Lahore XV with 23,598 votes, and from NA-119 Lahore III with 83,855 votes according to Form 47 on the ECP’s website. 

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false. While Mian Shahzad Farooq had filed a petition against Maryam Nawaz’s victory in NA-119, we could not find any media reports about the ECP withholding the results of NA-119 and PP-159 or declaring Maryam Nawaz’s victory null and void.

The petition was dismissed because Justice Ali Baqar Najafi observed that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that matters concerning the consolidation of poll results and recounts could only be addressed through an election petition, and not by invoking the constitutional jurisdiction of a high court. 

The reasons for dismissing the petition from the court order are outlined below:

i) This Constitutional Petition is not maintainable.
ii) The petitioner may always file a representation under sections 8, 9, 15, 95 of the Elections Act, 2017, read with Article 218(3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, before the Election Commission of Pakistan.
iii) The consolidation of the result, whether in the presence or absence of the petitioner, will be resolved by the Election Commission of Pakistan while deciding the matter if agitated before the ECP. A prompt decision by the ECP will be in the spirit of Articles 218(3) and 224 of the Constitution by strictly complying with the provisions of the Elections Act, 2017.

It’s important to note that the case will now be decided by the ECP tribunal if approached by Farooq.

On 12 February 2023, an anti-terrorism court sent Mian Shahzad Farooq, an independent candidate backed by the PTI, to jail on judicial remand for allegedly attacking a police team and engaging in violence. The court refused to grant Gujjarpura police his physical remand, and released nine other suspects. The PTI members were charged with organising a protest rally and firing on police officers.


The claim can be found here, here, here and here on X. 

Conclusion: Maryam Nawaz’s victory has not been overturned by the court. In fact, the court has advised defeated candidates to seek recourse through the ECP.

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