Claim: The headline of a news report by Aaj News accompanied by an image of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) claims that the apex court has restored the votes rejected by the returning officer.

Fact: The headline and image of Pakistan’s apex court in the Facebook post are misleading as the actual news story does not talk about any verdict by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The verdict mentioned in the article was passed by the Indian Supreme Court on the results of elections for mayorship in Chandigarh, India.

Elections 2024

Pakistan’s general elections were held on 8 February 2024. According to the results issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), independent candidates backed by former prime minister Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by winning the most seats in the National Assembly.

Protests have erupted across the country following allegations of widespread rigging during the general election, which were levelled by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) along with other political groups. These disputes inundate courts nationwide as independent candidates backed by the PTI continue to challenge provisional election results. The petitions — heard in high courts in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar —  contest discrepancies between the data on Form 47, issued by the returning officers (ROs), and the data on Form 45 which is the primary document containing data on candidates’ votes per polling station.

Fact or Fiction?

On 20 February 2024, Aaj News posted an image (archive) to their Facebook page with the following Urdu caption:

سپریم کورٹ نے ریٹرننگ افسر کے مسترد کردہ ووٹ بحال کردیئے

انتخابی نتیجہ تبدیل ہونے کا قومی امکان

[Translated: The Supreme Court restored the votes rejected by the returning officer. [There is a] strong possibility of changing election results.]

The image is that of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A link in the post’s caption leads to an article on Aaj News Urdu website, published on the same day and same headline as that of the Facebook post.

The body of the article mentions that the verdict was given by the Supreme Court of India in which it overturned the results of a mayoral poll in Chandigarh. The judgment elaborates that eight votes have been restored as they were “intentionally defaced” by the presiding officer during the counting to invalidate them.

A keyword search on Google led to several news reports on the judgment by the Indian apex court by major Indian news outlets, including Hindustan Times, The Wire and Economic Times.

Therefore, Soch Fact Check observes that the post shared by Aaj News on Facebook is misleading as it contains a vague caption and an image which is unrelated to the actual news story.

In addition to this, the headline of the main news story, “Supreme Court restores votes rejected by the returning officer,” is also misleading as it does not specify that the article reports the judgment of an apex court in India. The headline gives the impression that the news report could be about a judgment passed by a court in Pakistan, particularly because the petitions of candidates regarding alleged rigging by the ROs in Form 47 of the parliamentary polls are being heard at respective High Courts and are under consideration by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Secondly, the image in the Facebook post is of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and not the Supreme Court of India. This further cements the misleading impression that the article reports a judgment by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, whereas the news report is actually about a judgment by an apex court in India.


The misleading post by Aaj News on Facebook received 200 likes and 10 reshares. The archived version can be seen here.

Conclusion: Contrary to the impression given by a misleading headline reported by Aaj News, the Supreme Court of Pakistan did not restore the votes dismissed by the RO in the recent general election. The actual news story reports a judgment passed by the Supreme Court of India on the mayoral polls in Chandigarh and has nothing to do with Pakistan.



Background image in cover photo: Reuters



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