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February 15, 2018

Replies sought in plea against scrutiny of Senate candidates


February 15, 2018

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought replies from Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on a petition challenging process of the scrutiny of candidates for upcoming senate election.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, the petitioner, mainly questioned the scrutiny of nomination papers filed by Rana Maqbool, Shaheen Khalid Butt, Sadia Abbasi, Nuzhat Sadiq, Mushahid Hussain, Zubair Gull, Ahmad Saeed Kirmani and Hafiz Abdul Karim of PML-N besides Ch Muhammad Sarwar of PTI.

The lawyer argued before the court that the election commission accepted nomination of those candidates who had been in service of Pakistan and possessed dual nationality. He said the commission failed to hold proper scrutiny of the respondent candidates’ nomination papers in a transparent manner.

The petitioner also questioned “The Election Act 2017” and argued that the ECP was not bound to implement the amendments introduced under the act in virtue with Article 218 (3) of the Constitution.

Advocate Siddique pleaded that if the elections were not stayed the constitutional provisions would be negated and violated the settled principles of law read with constitutional provisions. He alleged that all the parties in the parliament with malafide intention, collusively and cleverly ensured non-disclosure of essential details in the nomination forms to be used in the forthcoming elections.

He said the parties failed to realise that it was a requirement of the supreme law of the land as concealing vital information relating to payment of taxes and written off loans etc was in conflict with Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

He pleaded that the disclosure of the said requirements was constitutional obligation and could not be waived or relaxed under the impugned Election Act, 2017.He argued that the process of scrutiny of the candidates for senate polls was defective in terms of Articles 62 and & 63.

Therefore, he asked the court to set aside the scrutiny process of senate election till removal of errors in the Election Act, 2017 by the relevant authorities. Justice Shahid Karim heard the arguments and issued notices to the respondents for Feb 20.

Stay extended: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday extended stay on summons issued to Punjab’s former IG Mushtaq Sukhera by trial court on a private complaint of Pakistan Awami Tehreek in Model Town killings’ case.

A full bench headed by Justice Abdul Sami Khan took up the matter but it was second time when PAT’s counsel Advocate Rai Bashir Ahmad could not turn up.

However, the former police chief was there along with his counsel. The bench expressed dismay over his non-appearance and extended stay on summons issued to the former provincial police chief. Previously, the bench also expressed dismay over non-appearance of PAT’s counsel but even then the respondents’ counsel could not appear.

Sukhera through his counsel had pleaded that the summons were issued on the basis of false information provided to the trial court. He said he had taken the charge of his office when the Model Town incident occurred in June 2014.

The former police chief said he had nothing to do with the alleged incident while the PAT filed the private complaint before the ATC with a delay of 21 months. He asked the court to set aside the summons.

The hearing adjourned until March 7. The ATC had summoned 127 suspects including Sukhera, former DIG operations, former DCO Lahore and others after allowing the private complaint moved by the PAT for the trial of the officers on charges of killing its workers during the firing incident outside the residence of Dr Tahirul Qadri in Model Town.

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