Former president Pervez Musharraf challenged before the Sindh High Court on Wednesday the decision of the election tribunal of rejecting his nomination papers from the NA-250 Karachi constituency.
The tribunal had rejected Musharraf’s appeal observing that he could not be regarded as “Ameen” within the meaning of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
Being aggrieved with the order, petitioner counsel Khwaja Naveed Ahmed submitted that the election tribunal indulged in verbal assault against his client and made the observation, which was unsustainable.
He said that if the interpretation of the tribunal applies on every candidate, then no one would be able to contest the polls and there would be no election.
He submitted that the petitioner should be presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty by any court of law, although he was not convicted by any court and the trial proceedings are pending for adjudication.
He prayed the court to issue the writ of certiorari and mandamus, quash the returning officer and election tribunal’s orders, and allow the petitioner to contest the election.
The matter was taken up before a three-member bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, which was constituted to deal with the election tribunal’s decisions.
However, when the case was called at late hours, neither the counsel nor the petitioner was present. The court, in the interest of justice, adjourned the matter until April 18.
ECP issued with notice
The full bench of the SHC issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan on a petition filed by Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians’ candidates Mir Ahmed Nawaz, Ali Nawaz Khan Mahar and Nawabzada Mir Nadir Khan Magsi against the decision of the election tribunal that dismissed their appeals.
The court observed that impugned orders of the RO and the election tribunal shall not come in the way of petitioners’ candidature until April 18.
The PPPP candidates had filed their nomination papers from PS-13 Jacobabad, PS-6 Ghotki, NA-208 Jacobabad and NA-206 Shahdadkot.
The court also dismissed the petition of Manzoor Hussain Ansari against former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah for contesting the poll from PS-29 Khairpur.
‘Appeal against ASWJ leader quashed’
The election tribunal concluded the proceedings against the decisions of the ROs. The tribunal dismissed the appeal that challenged the nomination papers of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leader Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqui from PS-128 Karachi.
Petitioner Muhammad Ali Zaidi submitted that Farooqui was the leader of the banned ASWJ and he does not fulfil the conditions laid down under Articles 62 and 63. He submitted that the respondent had delivered speeches for promoting hatred among different sects of the society.
He prayed the court to reject the nomination papers of Farooqui from PS-128. The tribunal, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, observed that the appellant was not a candidate of the constituency; thus, he could not file an appeal against the decision of the RO and dismissed the appeal as not maintainable.
The election tribunal also dismissed the appeal of Dr Fahmida Mirza who challenged the nomination papers of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional candidate Syed Ali Bux Shah from PS-57 Badin.
The tribunal also dismissed the appeals of Mir Khan Khoso against PPP candidates Muhammad Khan Junejo, Muhammad Ravan, Attaullah, Ghulam Nabi, Asar Jan, Muhammad Saleem, Asif Ejaz and Ghulam Qadir Gahoti against the decisions of the ROs. The tribunal allowed appeals of Sardar Khan, Manzoor Hasan Khan and Nusra Kamran who moved the tribunal against the rejection of their papers from NA-239, PS-126 and PS-93, respectively.