SC dismisses disqualification petition against Sh Rashid

Sheikh-Rasheed.jpg

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by PML (N) leader Shakeel Awan seeking disqualification of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed.
The petition claimed that the AML chief in the 2013 election has not declared his assets accurately.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah had reserved the verdict in the case on March 20, 2018.
The SC bench ruled 2-1 in Rashid’s favour, with Justice Isa writing the dissenting note and recommending that the case be sent to a full court for further hearings.
Speaking to the media outside the apex court, Rasheed thanked God for bestowing him with respect.
“I have done nothing wrong and never hid any of my assets,” he said. “God is great, He has bestowed me with respect yet again.”
In a jibe at the PML-N supremo, the AML chief said he would have accepted the verdict even if it was not in his favour because he was not Nawaz Sharif.
The petitioner remarked that his case was in the Election Tribunal for 18 months. “The verdict on my case was reserved for 84 days,” Awan said.
The PML-N leader, however, told journalists that he trusted the judiciary and would continue to knock the doors of courts to seek justice.
During the hearing of the petition, Awan’s counsel had argued before the three-member bench that according to the Representation of People’s Act, it was necessary to accurately declare all of one’s assets before contesting elections.
He had asserted that the most recent court case regarding the wrong filling of nomination papers was the 2017 Panama Papers judgment by the apex court.
Rasheed’s counsel, on the other hand, had contended that his client did not conceal anything and accepted that his client had owned the mistake in valuing his assets.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, during the earlier hearing, had remarked that according to the petitioner, whatever the error was, the lawmaker should be disqualified.
The question was whether a lawmaker stood disqualified if it was proved that he or she had committed an error while filling out the nomination papers or his/her assets, Justice Saeed had observed.
The AML leader called on Sharif brothers and remarked, “I am coming Nawaz and Shehbaz. My city has given me the name of ‘Pindi Boy’. I will punish the looters while forming government with Imran Khan. I will hold a rally on June 23 and 24 in Liaquat Bagh.”
“I had stated earlier that if the decision came against me I will accept it. My name is Sheikh Rashid not Nawaz Sharif. I am not a production of GHQ gate no.4,” he criticized.
Court against Rashid was moved by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) leader Malik Shakeel Awan who had lost the general elections 2013 against the former. Awan in his petition has accused Rashid of misdeclaring assets in the nomination forms that he had submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the general elections in 2013.
In his media talk following the verdict, he said, “Sheikh Rashid had said in his statement that the accusations are true but occurred mistakenly. He submitted an affidavit stating that he concealed the assets. Verdict against Nawaz Sharif came on the basis of iqaama and not Panama. I trust the judiciary and will continue to seek justice from courts.”
During the hearing Shakeel Awan’s legal counsel rgued that Representation of People’s Act compels public representative to accurately declare all assets before contesting general elections.
Rashid’s lawyer contended that his client had not concealed anything while accepting at the same time that Rashid had made a mistake in determining value of his assets.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, during the earlier hearing, had remarked that according to the petitioner, whatever the error was, the lawmaker should be disqualified.
The question was whether a lawmaker stood disqualified if it was proved that he or she had committed an error while filling out the nomination papers or his/her assets, Justice Saeed had observed.

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