Appellate Tribunal reserves decision on Khan’s disqualification appeal Appellate Tribunal dismissed appeals Hammad Azhar and Sanam Javed against the rejection of their nomination papers.

Appellate Tribunal reserves decision on Imran Khan’s disqualification appeal

Shah Mahmood Qureshi barred from contesting polls in Multan constituencies, Zain Qureshi & Mehrbano Qureshi allowed contesting elections

Appellate Tribunal dismisses appeals of Hammad Azhar & Sanam Javed against the rejection of their nomination papers

Appellate Tribunals will continue to decide on appeals till Wednesday


The Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi Bench reserved on Sunday its decision on the disqualification appeal by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan against the rejection of the nomination papers for NA-89 Mianwali.

Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz presided over the election tribunal and Senator Barrister Syed Ali Zafar represented the PTI chief.

Imran Khan’s counsel prayed to the tribunal to annul the decision made by the returning officer on Imran’s nomination papers. Zafar argued that the RO lacks the authority to determine moral turpitude or eligibility without proper evidence.

He also referred to a similar case of PML-N’s Khawaja Asif before the 2018 general elections.

The tribunal stated that in the case of the PML-N leader, contention was on the issue of salary. The judge then asked if the items taken from the Toshakhana were mentioned or not. Justice Aziz then stated that they were not debating the merits of the Toshakhana case, however, the court was trying to determine if the funds from the sale of Toshakhana items were declared or not.

Director-general law, who was also present, asserted that the RO was obligated to conduct a summary hearing. He maintained that if an accused is convicted, the individual is disqualified from contesting the polls. He further added that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has disqualified Imran Khan and it remains in effect.

The senior law officer further stated that the RO rejected the papers in accordance with the law, and therefore, it is requested that Imran’s appeal be dismissed.

Imran’s nomination papers were rejected for both NA-89 Mianwali and NA-122, Lahore. “The candidate is convicted by the court of law and he has been disqualified under Article 63 (1)(h) of the Constitution … read with section 232 of the Election Act 2017,” the RO in NA-122 said in his order.

“The proposer of the candidate is not a registered voter in the constituency of NA-122 and hit by section 60(1) of the Election Act 2017,” the RO said, citing the reasons for rejecting the nomination papers.

Earlier in a petition to the LHC, Imran Khan contended that recent amendments to the Elections Act 2017 limit the ECP’s jurisdiction in deciding the qualification or disqualification of a member based on a court conviction.

The PTI founder urged the court to set aside the ECP’s notification, which disqualified him for a period of five years and purportedly de-notified him as the returned candidate from constituency NA-45 Kurram-I. He further requested the court to suspend the operation of the notification until the final disposal of the petition.

He accused the ECP of acting with unlawful zeal and haste to exclude him from the upcoming general elections rather than ensuring fair and free elections.

Meanwhile an Appellate Tribunal on Sunday dismissed appeals of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Muhammad Hammad Azhar and social activist Sanam Javed against the rejection of their nomination papers.

The tribunal, headed by Justice Tariq Nadeem, declared Azhar ineligible by upholding the objections of the RO on his nomination papers to contest the election from NA-129..

The Appellate Tribunal dismissed Sanam Javaid’s appeal against the rejection of her nomination papers.

The tribunal upheld the returning officer (RO) decision to reject incarcerated Sanam’s nomination papers submitted from two National Assembly seats and one provincial assembly seat — NA-120, NA-119 and PP-150.

On December 19, Sanam submitted her nomination papers announcing to contest elections against Maryam Nawaz from Lahore’s provincial assembly seat, PP-150.

Sanam is among dozens of PTI workers and leaders who are in custody in connection with the May 9 riots that broke out following the arrest of PTI founder Imran Khan in a graft case.

She was booked in multiple cases including an attack on the Corps Commander House in Lahore and torching of police vehicles in the Cantonment area during the violent protests earlier this year.

On the other hand, the tribunal reserved a decision on an appeal filed by Nadeem Sherwani against the acceptance of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s nomination papers by the returning officer from NA-119.

The decision was reserved after the petitioner submitted additional documents to support his appeal.

Meanwhile, the LHC Appellate Tribunal overturned RO’s decision of rejecting the nomination papers of PTI leader Hammad Azhar and his father Mian Muhammad Azhar from PP-171 over their seconders and proposers’ not showing up.

Their seconders and proposers appeared before the tribunal upon which Justice Ahmed Nadeem Arshad announced the verdict in their favour.

Meanwhile Appellate Tribunals constituted to dispose of the appeals filed against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers for the general elections will continue to decide on appeals till Wednesday. These tribunals are being headed by judges of the High Courts.

According to election schedule, the preliminary list of candidates will be displayed on Thursday and candidates can withdraw their nomination papers till Friday.

The electoral symbols will be allotted on the 13th of this month while polling for general elections will be held on 8th of next month.

Meanwhile Returning Officers in line with the directives of the Election Commission of Pakistan have published the constituency-wise preliminary lists of polling stations. Candidates and voters have the opportunity to submit their suggestions or objections regarding polling stations to the District Returning Officers until Thursday.

DROs are set to declare their decisions on these objections or suggestions from 12th to 17th of this month. Final list of polling stations will be revealed 15 days before the elections.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi barred from contesting polls in Multan constituencies, Zain Qureshi & Mehrbano Qureshi allowed contesting elections

Asad Qaiser granted permission to run for election from NA 19 & PK 50

An appellate tribunal in Multan on Saturday declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi ineligible to contest upcoming elections from NA 150, 151 and two provincial assembly constituencies PP 218, 219.

The former foreign minister’s petition against the rejection of his nomination papers by the local returning officer (RO) was rejected by an election tribunal.

The former foreign minister had filed appeal against RO’s decision. Appellate tribunal judge Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar announced the decision. On the other hand, the PTI vice chairman’s children, Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi and Mehrbano Qureshi, were deemed eligible to contest from NA-150 and NA-151, respectively. Zain’s nomination papers for PP-218 were also approved.

Speaking to the media, Qureshi’s lawyer announced that they would appeal against the rejection and approach the divisional bench.

It should be noted that Qureshi and his son’s nomination papers from Karachi were approved by the local RO. In addition, his papers from Umerkot, Sindh NA-214 were accepted as well.

Meanwhile the order approving Fawad Chaudhary’s nomination papers was withdrawn on Saturday after his wife Hiba Fawad Chaudhry was declared ineligible to contest elections for ‘hiding facts’.

The election tribunal, after confirming objections against Hiba Chaudhary concerning three undisclosed foreign trips and nine bank accounts, disqualified her from contesting elections in the Jhelum provincial constituency.

The rejection came after Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented records of Hiba’s foreign trips, whereas the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) provided details of the bank accounts.

In light of these findings, Fawad also came under scrutiny for not disclosing the information in his nomination papers either. This resulted in the acceptance order issued for the former PTI leader’s nomination papers for NA-60 and NA-61 being withdrawn.

The tribunal, issuing notices to Fawad Chaudhry for January 9, questioned “why should the former information minister not be disqualified for hiding facts?”

With the withdrawal of the approval for the nomination papers, the threat of disqualification looms large on Fawad’s head

Separately, some PTI leaders and other candidates received relief as appeals against the decisions of returning officers start being accepted.

Sindh High Court Justice Adnan-ul-Karim Memon, addressing the eligibility of returning officers, remarked, “No one can be prevented from participating in elections based solely on preliminary proceedings. Candidates are being unjustly hindered from contesting elections knowingly.”

“It seems the returning officer rejected nomination papers impulsively,” Justice Memon stated,

In the Sindh High Court, appeals against the decisions of returning officers were heard for PTI’s Subhan Sahil from NA-243, Amjad Afridi from NA-242, Hassan Chohan from PS-113, Makhdoom Fazal from Hala.

The tribunal also accepted appeals for PPP’s Rauf Ahmed and independent candidate Raffia Hassan from PS-126, independent candidates Jamalud Din and Dildar Ali from NA-237, and Fazal Zeshan from NA-237.

The tribunal also criticised the election commission’s chief, stating, “How can we proceed when returning officers cannot accurately identify the facts even with the use of modern technology?” Justice Memon engaging in a conversation with candidates and lawyers, remarked, “Go, prepare for the election battle.”

PTI’s Asad Qaiser was granted permission to run for election from NA 19 and PK 50 while Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra was cleared to take part in election from three constituencies.

Election tribunal accepted appeals of PTI’s Subhan Sahil and Amjad Afridi and allowed them to contest election from NA 243 and 242, respectively. PTI’s Malik Niaz Ahmad Jhakar was granted permission to vie for election from NA 182 (Layyah).

Similarly, PTI candidate from PS 113 Hasnain Chohan was also cleared by election tribunal to run election. The Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Rauf

Ahmad’s appeal against RO decision to reject nomination paper was adopted by the election tribunal. Independent candidates Rafiya Hassan (PS 126), Jamaluddin, Deedar Ali’s appeal were also accepted by tribunals and they were allowed to contest elections scheduled for Feb 8.

PTI candidate from Haala, Makhdoom Fazal was given go ahead by the tribunal to vie for election.

A tribunal, while declaring RO’s decision null and void, allowed Fiza Zeeshan to contest election from NA-237. Appellate Tribunal Judge Adnanul Karim Memon expressed his anger over the ability of returning officers.

The judge while passing remarks said,” Are the candidates being deliberately barred from contesting polls. It seems the returning officer rejected nomination papers in bulk as a matter of fun.”

He said no one could be barred from contesting election merely on grounds that he was facing cases in courts. The judge also rebuked the Election Commission. He then asked the candidate to go and prepare for contesting election.

Arbab Muhammad Memon, an independent candidate from NA 224 was allowed to vie for polls. PML-N candidate Riaz Ahmad was cleared by the tribunal for PS 93 election. Appeal of PPP’s Rauf Ahmad from PS 106 was accepted.