ECP to complete scrutiny today
With Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan avoiding a personal appearance before ROs in connection with objections raised to his nomination papers for NA-131 (Lahore IX) and NA-53 (ICT II), his lawyers tried to contest challenges to his candidature.
Lawyer Babar Awan appeared on behalf of Imran in NA-131 Lahore, but the RO directed him to tell his client to appear in person to clarify his position. The RO told Awan that those claiming to bring change in the country should respect the law themselves. Imran’s nomination papers for NA-131 present a tax figure different than what is mentioned in his tax returns filed with FBR. The PTI chief also faced objections to his candidature in Islamabad’s NA-53.
The objection has been raised by a candidate of the Justice and Democratic Party led by the former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.
The erstwhile top judge claimed Imran was ineligible to hold public office under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution because he fathered a child out of wedlock with Sita White. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan’s legal counsel submitted reply over objections to his candidacy for upcoming general elections for NA-53 constituency of Islamabad.
The reply, which was submitted by the assistant lawyer of Babar Awan, stated that the objections to Imran’s candidacy are baseless and based on fraud.
The scrutiny of nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan for NA-53 initiated in his absence on Monday.
Imran and his counsel, Babar Awan, both skipped the NA-53 scrutiny to appear before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). On behalf of Babar Awan, advocate Rai Tajamul appeared before returning officers along with all documents of Imran Khan and argued against the reservations of the ECP on the nomination papers of the PTI chief.
Advocate Tajamul maintained that his client’s nomination papers had been challenged previously in last elections on the same grounds, which were later accepted by the then returning officer (RO), therefore, “if one RO has given a verdict on the matter then technically another RO cannot raise the same objections on the matter again,” he asserted.
It is worth mentioning that a day earlier; the ECP had summoned Imran Khan, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ayisha Gulalai, to personally appear before the ECP for the scrutiny process for nomination papers for NA-53.
The PTI chairperson had also been ordered to submit a reply to reservations against his candidacy raised by Abdul Wahab Baloch.
Imran has submitted nomination papers from National Assembly constituencies in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Bannu and Mianwali.
The objections have been submitted over photo stated documents and have yet to be verified, states the written reply, adding that the objections raised against Imran fall under the ambit of forgery.
It further mentions that there is a legal mechanism in place to send or receive documents from foreign countries, adding that the objections raised against Imran’s candidacy are allegations.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will complete the process of scrutiny of nomination papers filed by candidates for upcoming general elections on Tuesday.
A total of 21,482 nomination papers have been filed across the country for national and provincial assemblies.
As many as 6063 candidates are contesting for 342 seats of the National Assembly while 15419 nomination papers have been filed for the provincial assemblies seats.As per the election schedule, appeals against rejection or acceptance of nomination papers can be filed by June 22.
The appellate tribunals will decide the appeals by June 27, after which the revised list of candidates will be published on June 28.
Candidates can withdraw their nomination papers by June 29 and the electoral body will announce the final list of candidates the same day. Electoral symbols will be issued to candidates on June 30 while polling will be held on July 25.