An election tribunal said on Friday that even though former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had suspended the constitution more than once, he could not be stopped from contesting elections on the basis of “mere allegations”.
The tribunal of the Lahore High Court also dismissed an appeal against the acceptance of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s nomination papers.
The tribunal sought help from the country’s attorney general and Punjab’s advocate general on an appeal filed against Pervez Musharraf on the rejection of his nomination papers from NA-139 constituency in Kasur.
Representing Musharraf, Barrister Salman Safdar argued that allegations levelled against his client had not been proved so far. He said a petition was pending adjudication before the Supreme Court, seeking proceedings under Article 6 of the Constitution and that no order had been passed to this effect.
Unless the court passed such an order, he argued, the appellant could not be barred from contesting polls.
The tribunal directed the attorney general and advocate general Punjab to assist it on the matter at the next hearing scheduled on April 16. The tribunal comprised Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmad and Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan.
The same tribunal also dismissed an appeal against the acceptance of Nawaz Sharif’s nomination papers from NA-120, saying it was not maintainable.
The tribunal said that since the appeal was filed by a voter, the court cannot take up such an appeal and the appeals should be filed by candidates.
It referred two more appeals against candidature of Nawaz from NA-120 and NA-119 and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan from NA-122 for fixation before another tribunal.
However, Justice Ahmad refused to hear appeals against PML-N chief while Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan refused to hear the appeal against Imran.
The tribunal also adjourned proceedings on the appeal of former PML-Likeminded MNA Kashmala Tariq. She challenged the rejection of her nomination papers from a reserved seat by the poll commission.
A second election tribunal headed by Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh also dismissed appeals against the acceptance of nomination papers of Imran Khan from NA 122, Riaz Malik from NA-118, and Hamza Shahbaz from NA-119.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2013.