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February 24, 2021

Senate polls: Thumbs up for Vawda, down for Pervaiz Rashid

Top Story

February 24, 2021

KARACHI/LAHORE: The Sindh High Court (SHC) election tribunal rejected on Tuesday an appeal against the nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and federal minister Faisal Vawda for the Senate election, declaring him eligible to contest the upcoming polls.

However, the election tribunal of the Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed an appeal of senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Pervaiz Rashid challenging rejection of his nomination papers by the returning officer for the Senate polls.

The SHC election tribunal heard Qadir Khan Mandokhel's appeal against the returning officer's decision to approve Faisal Vawda's nomination papers for the Senate elections. The media was barred from covering the hearing. The court staff directed the media representatives to leave the courtroom.

During the hearing, the tribunal rejected Mandokhel's appeal against Vawda and upheld the PTI leader's nomination. The tribunal said the appellant can file a constitutional petition if he wishes to.

Meanwhile, the election tribunal comprising a judge of the LHC dismissed an appeal of Pervaiz Rashid challenging rejection of his nomination papers by the returning officer.

As the hearing commenced, Pervaiz Rashid’s counsel argued that the appellant had never been informed by the officials of the Punjab House in writing that he owed any amount to it in terms of rent charges. He said the RO gave the appellant one-day time for the payment of the amount, however, the officials concerned did not receive the same.

Justice Shahid Waheed, the one-member tribunal, observed that Elections Act 2017 did not empower the RO and this tribunal to issue any such direction to any government official. "In the result, this appeal being devoid of any merit is dismissed," said the tribunal.

Talking to media, Pervaiz Rashid announced to challenge the decision of the tribunal through a writ petition before the LHC. The opposition leader said he knew for what crime he had been kept outside the election process and would keep repeating that ‘crime’. He alleged that a former chief justice had made a false case of the default on the dues of Punjab House. He said his review petition was still pending with the Supreme Court and he was not bound to pay the amount till a decision in the matter.

The appellant had contended that the RO acted beyond his jurisdiction and unlawfully rejected his nomination papers. He asked the tribunal to set aside the impugned decision of the RO and allow him to contest election of the Senate.

On objections filed by the PTI MPA Zainab Umar and Advocate Rana Mudassir, a member of Insaf Lawyers Forum, the RO had rejected the nomination papers of Pervaiz Rashid. Reacting to the development, the PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said Pervaiz Rashid is not an individual, but an ideology.

The PML-N leader took to Twitter and posted that Pervaiz Rashid is the bright symbol of democracy. She said such leaders always live. “He will continue to be ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s trustworthy companion,” she added.