Poll candidates: Dr Mubashir Hassan asks SC to watch over Election Commission

Published: March 13, 2013

Dr Hassan asked the court to direct the PPP chairman to ensure that he does not award a party ticket to a person who does not qualify under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. PHOTO: Express/FILE

LAHORE: 

Dr Mubashir Hassan, the co-founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party, has asked the Supreme Court to watch over the Election Commission of Pakistan to prevent tax evaders, defaulters and bogus degree holders from running in the upcoming elections.

In a petition filed through Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, Dr Hassan has asked the court to form a special bench to ensure that the Election Commission and other state functionaries perform their roles in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

The petition names the chief election commissioner and members of the Election Commission, the chief ministers of the four provinces, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and the heads of nine major parties as respondents.

Locus standi

Dr Hassan, 91, submitted that he had moved the petition as a citizen of Pakistan, “one who has led a life of consistent and abiding interest in the wellbeing of the overwhelming majority of the people of Pakistan”, as he felt “aggrieved of various corrupt practices of politicians”.

He asked the court to direct Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PPP chairman, to ensure that he does not award a party ticket to a person who does not qualify under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution; until the SBP and FBR confirm that the aspiring candidate is not a loan defaulter or a tax evader; and for PPP candidates who contested the previous elections, until the HEC confirms in writing that the education degree they attached to their nomination forms are genuine.

The heads of the PML-F, PML-N, PTI, PML-Q, MQM, JUI-F, ANP and PPP Parliamentarians, after awarding tickets, should be required to file affidavits affirming that none of the candidates have evaded taxes, defaulted on loans or indulged in corrupt practices as defined in the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance of 1999, and, “minor human frailties aside, has the character and integrity required to become a member of Parliament”, said the petitioner.

The SBP governor and the chairmen of the FBR and HEC should be required to file reports to the court stating that the candidates approved by the Election Commission have never defaulted on loans, have valid tax numbers and are regular tax payers, and have not submitted bogus degrees in previous elections, said the petitioner.

Dr Hassan asked the court to declare that the Punjab chief minister’s announcement of March 1, 2013, giving permanent jobs to 100,000 contractual employees of the government, was illegal. He said such steps were bribes to win votes.

The petitioner also sought a declaration that the Election Commission was independent and had the authority to frame rules and regulations and to pass any orders it deemed fit for conducting elections fairly and transparently, and for which purpose it needed no approval from the president.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2013. 

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Falcon
    Mar 13, 2013 - 1:14AM

    Where are the liberal conspiracy theorists who think every call of fair elections is a ploy of establishment? Here we have one of the most ardent anti-establishment voices raising concerns about the enforcement of electoral reforms.

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  • Usman
    Mar 13, 2013 - 2:46AM

    @Falcon: Could not agree with you more. Any call for proper vetting of candidates is not a ploy of the ‘deep state’ which our liberattis love to bash, even though they’re not sure who it is, what it is or whether it exists or not. This is democracy, learn to live in it. In a democracy, the parliamentarians are subject to the same law as the common man. Responsibility of actions of the government lies with the civilian law makers, not with any other state institutions.
    .
    We love to ask for democracy but have little or no idea how it functions and are unwilling to learn either.

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  • Roni
    Mar 13, 2013 - 8:43AM

    The good Dr. Asked “court to direct Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PPP chairman, to ensure that he does not award a party ticket to a person who does not qualify under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution; until the SBP and FBR confirm that the aspiring candidate is not a loan defaulter or a tax evader; and for PPP candidates who contested the previous elections, until the HEC confirms in writing that the education degree they attached to their nomination forms are genuine.”
    Why is the petition only chasing one party not all?
    Where would people find Pakistanis who qualify under articles 62 and 63 inserted by the worst dictator fundamentalist Zia?
    Even IK would not qualify under these articles.
    Last but not the least, where in the constitution is the degree requirement? This was inserted by another dictator and was deleted by the SC. Why are some insisting on the old illegal restrictions when they are not a part of constitution?

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