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National

July 14, 2018

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SC allows Shahid Khaqan to contest 2018 election

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi to contest the forthcoming general elections scheduled to be held on July 25.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsen dismissed a petition filed by Masood Ahmed Abbassi, challenging the candidature of Shahid Khaqan Abbassi for National Assembly seat NA-57, Rawalpindi.

The court upheld the Lahore High Court (LHC) decision and allowed former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to contest for National Assembly seat NA-57 in the forthcoming general election being held on July 25.

Advocate Masood Ahmed Abbas had challenged before the apex court, the verdict of Lahore High Court, allowing Shahid Khaqan Abbassi from the National Assembly constituency NA-57 in 2018 general elections. He contended that Khaqan Abbassi had made mis-declaration in his nomination papers for contesting 2018 general elections; hence, he should not be allowed to contest the elections, besides annulling the high court verdict.

On Friday, the court questioned the petitioner as to whether he was the opponent candidate of Mr Abbassi to which the petitioner replied that he has filed the petition as a voter from the said constituency.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, another member of the bench, asked the petitioner’s lawyer to produce evidence before the court regarding concealment of facts by the respondent Khaqan Abbassi. The petitioner’s counsel, however, submitted that Khaqan Abbassi had tampered with records. The chief justice than inquired as to what mis-declaration made by the respondent, and, if any, it should be shared with the court.

The CJ noted that properties listed in income tax returns are also listed in the nomination papers, the chief justice remarked. Meanwhile, the court observed that the petitioner failed to provide evidence in respect of his claim that the respondent had made mis-declaration in his nomination papers.

The court dismissed the petition and upheld the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict allowing former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi to contest the forthcoming general election from NA-57, Rawalpindi 1. On July 29, the Lahore High Court had allowed Abbasi to contest from his home constituency of NA-57 Rawalpindi 1. A two-member bench headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi had accepted Abbasi’s appeal against the appellate tribunal’s decision of rejecting his nomination papers and disqualifying him for life.

Earlier on June 27, the appellate tribunal disqualified former Prime Minister Abbasi for ‘concealing facts and withholding information from voters’ in his nomination papers submitted for NA-57 Murree.

Furthermore, the tribunal stated in its verdict that former premier does not meet the requirements under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

It further stated that Abbasi “is not an honest (Sadiq) and Ameen person and after such declaration, declare him as not a qualified person to be elected or chosen as a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) within the meaning of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

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