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May 15, 2019

PHC puts PM on notice in petition seeking his disqualification

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May 15, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday put on notice Prime Minister Imran Khan to submit reply within three weeks in a writ petition seeking his disqualification from holding any public office for concealing facts in his nomination papers while contesting for the National Assembly constituency, NA-35 Bannu, in the 2018 general election.

A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Ibrahim Khan also put on notice the Election Commission of Pakistan to submit reply to the questions raised in the petition. The petition was filed by Inamullah Khan, a leader of Pakistan Justice and Democratic Party of former chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and a losing candidate in the NA-35 Bannu constituency.

Abdur Rasheed Khan, counsel for the petitioner, submitted before the bench that Imran Khan as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief had concealed important facts in his nomination papers and, therefore, he was not righteous and sagacious in terms of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

Imran Khan had won the election from NA-35 Bannu by defeating former provincial chief minister Akram Khan Durrani, who was fielded by the JUI-F, and other candidates. Former chief justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Chaudhry had announced before the election that his party would challenge the candidature of Imran Khan in every constituency from where he would contest the polls.

The counsel for the petitioner said his client had raised important objections before the returning officer for NA-35 Bannu, but he had accepted the nomination papers of Imran Khan. He added that the petitioner had also filed an appeal with the election appellate tribunal in Bannu but it was turned down, prompting him to move the high court for relief.

Abdur Rasheed Khan said the petitioner had annexed important documents, including judgments of the courts in the US, about the well-known case of Sita White and her daughter Tyrian White that proved that the latter was the daughter of Imran Khan. He alleged that Imran Khan had not been admitting in Pakistan that Tyrian White was his daughter, he had admitted this fact abroad in a court of law. The lawyer claimed that in the nomination papers, the PTI chief had only mentioned his two sons and not his daughter. He added that the PTI founder had also concealed the properties belonging to his current wife, Bushra Bibi, in the nomination papers.

The lawyer said the worth of the Bani Gala mansion of Imran Khan in Islamabad was mentioned as Rs11.4 million in the nomination papers, which was below its actual value.

He added that even at the time of its purchase, the price of that land was around Rs50 million. The lawyer requested the bench to declare the acceptance of nomination papers of the PTI chief by the returning officer in Bannu illegal and declare him disqualified from holding any public office.

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