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February 18, 2018

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Dar allowed contesting Senate elections

LAHORE: An appellate tribunal of the Lahore High Court on Saturday overruled the returning officer’s decision and allowed former finance minister Ishaq Dar to contest the upcoming senate election.

The tribunal comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan issued this order after accepting Dar’s appeal against rejection of his nomination papers.

The tribunal dismissed two other appeals moved by Andleeb Abbas of PTI challenging the acceptance of nomination papers of two PML-N’s candidates Nuzhat Sadiq and Sadia Abbasi – sister of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Dar had filed the appeal through special attorney Naseer Ahmad Bhutta.

Advocate Salman Aslam Butt argued on behalf of Dar that the RO rejected his nomination papers without due diligence of the facts. He said the RO failed to hold proper scrutiny of the nomination papers required under the Representation of Peoples Act 1976.

He stated that legal formalities had not been fulfilled by the RO before passing the impugned decision.

He asked the court to set aside the RO’s decision and declare his client eligible to contest the Senate elections.

The RO on February 12 had rejected the nomination papers of Dar on objections filed by PTI leader Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed who argued that the former finance minister was facing proceedings on the charges of corruption and money laundering, and had also been declared absconder by the accountability court. He also challenged Dar’s signatures on the nomination papers.

The RO rejected the nomination papers of Dar also on the basis of discrepancy found in his signatures.

On the other hand, Andleeb had alleged that the two candidates failed to declare their assets and the liabilities held by them and their spouses for which they were bound under Representation of Peoples Act 1976. She said the respondents also concealed the details of their income tax and wealth tax.

She pleaded that the respondents by committing violation of established provisions of law exposed were to disqualification and not eligible to contest the election.

She asked the appellant tribunal to set aside the decision of the RO and declare the respondents ineligible to contest the polls of Senate. The tribunal, however, dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of RO regarding acceptance of nomination papers of Nuzhat and Sadia.

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