Pakistan News

SC issues notice to Ishaq Dar over approval of nomination papers for Senate polls

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday issued a notice to finance minister Ishaq Dar over a plea pertaining to approval of nomination papers for Senate elections.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case during which the CJP remarked that Dar had not challenged National Accountability Bureau (NAB) decision of declaring him absconder.

He directed the former minister to appear in court next week and appointed Babar Sattar as a judicial assistant.

On Friday, two petitions challenging the election of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – former finance minister Ishaq Dar and Hafiz Abdul Kareem – on Senate seats were filed in the SC.

The petition, filed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Mian Nawazish Ali Peerzada, requests the apex court to declare the senators-elect ineligible to be a member of the parliament.

Challenging the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) verdict, the petitioner requested the top court to suspend the court’s order.

On February 17, an appellate election tribunal of the LHC granted Dar permission to contest Senate election, setting aside an order of the returning officer (RO) who had rejected his nomination papers.

On March 3, the former finance minister won a Senate seat as a PML-N backed independent candidate.

The petition contends that an absconder cannot contest elections.

“The apex court has categorically declared that a fugitive from law loses his normal rights granted under the substantive as well as procedural laws,” reads the petition.

“The impugned order may very kindly be set-aside, resultantly the nomination papers of the respondent no 4 from the seat of Technocrat, province of Punjab, Senate Elections 2018, may very kindly be rejected and election of the respondent no. 4 may be declared void and set aside,” the petition reads further.

Earlier, the SC, while extending by three months the deadline for the accountability court hearing the illegal assets case against Ishaq Dar, wondered how Dar was elected to the Senate when he has been declared an absconder by the court.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that when someone is declared an absconder he loses all his rights. Therefore, the right to contest to elections is also stripped away, he added.

Regarding Kareem’s election on Senate seat, the petitioner took the stance that PML-N leader didn’t possess credentials required to become a technocrat. The appellate tribunal’s decision to declare him as a religious scholar was not constitutionally and legally correct, he argued.

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