Affidavit mandatory for filing papers

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Election 2018

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Supreme Court, while hearing a case regarding nomination forms on Wednesday, made it mandatory for all candidates contesting in the upcoming general elections to submit an affidavit along with the nomination papers.
A five member larger bench headed of Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard the petitions by the Election Commission of Pakistan and Ayaz Sadiq against a Lahore High Court judgment declaring the new nomination forms void. The high court had ordered that the nomination forms be revised to include important information about candidates.
The very next day, however, the top court suspended the decision upholding the nomination papers approved by the parliament via Elections Act 2017.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during Wednesday’s hearing asked the ECP to draft the affidavit containing columns for the missing information by midnight, reasserting that the court would not allow any delays in the elections scheduled for July 25.
“We need completely clean people in the elections,” Justice Nisar said, warning that contempt proceedings would follow if incorrect information was submitted.
He asked Ayaz Sadiq’s lawyer what details about the candidates was he attempting to hide with the new forms and why the people were being kept in the dark about vital information regarding their candidates.
The chief justice noted that the court still wants the new forms mandated by the parliament to be used but also wants the omitted details to be included via an affidavit which every candidate would have to now submit. The affidavits would have to be submitted within three days, the court ruled.
The CJP also said that an implementation bench would be formed on how to conduct the elections and the court would itself ensure that election rules regarding expenditure and banner sizes are followed.
He noted that the date of scrutiny may have to be extended because of the additional affidavits.
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