Hearing on torn Bharatpur ballots to continue on Sunday

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The hearing on the writ petition filed by the main opposition CPN-UML against the Election Commission decision to conduct reelection in Ward No 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City will continue on Sunday.

A joint bench of Om Kumar Mishra and Purushottam Bhandari, conducting the hearing on Monday, has decided to continue hearing on as it could not be completed on Monday. The next hearing has been scheduled for Sunday as Justice Bhandari will leave for USA on Tuesday and will return on Saturday.

The hearing was postponed for today on July 10 due to time constraints despite the SC setting up the joint bench of justices Mishra and Bhandari.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli and Hari Krishna Karki, that had heard the case earlier, had asked the EC to furnish ballots that were torn during the vote counting.

The EC had presented the torn ballots accordingly. The apex court had also asked the Commission to present the report prepared by the security bodies on the issue of tearing of ballots.

Vote counting in Bharatpur has been stopped after CPN (Maoist Center) cadres on May 29 tore ballots after the joint mayoral candidate of Maoist Center and Nepali Congress (NC) Renu Dahal looked set to lose to CPN-UML's Devi Gyawali.

A meeting of the Commission on June 3 had taken a decision to hold reelection in Bharatpur-19. The SC on June 5 had stayed the EC's decision to conduct reelection in Bharatpur Metropolis-19.  A single bench of Justice Cholendra SJB Rana hearing the writ petition filed by CPN-UML against the decision had ordered the commission to maintain status quo, and summoned the commission and plaintiffs for discussion on June 11 to decide if an interim order should be issued or not.

The three-member committee formed by the commission under Deputy Attorney General Gita Prasad Timalsina to probe the Bharatpur incident had later found that 90 ballots were torn.


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