Elections Act challenged ‘for aiding corruption’

Published: December 23, 2017
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The Lahore High Court. 
PHOTO: EXPRESS / FILE

The Lahore High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS / FILE

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government on a petition challenging the Elections Act, 2017.

The petition, filed by one Habib Akram, argues that the act provides cover to politicians to conceal details about their assets, loans, cases and dual nationality in their nomination papers.

Issuing the notices, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah also directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to update the court on the matter.

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The petitioner says that the law was enacted by the assembly in haste and with mala fide intent to conceal corruption of politicians as no formal debate was conducted on it before its passage. He claims that a number of provisions of the law are contrary to the Constitution.

According to the petitioner, the law allows politicians and election candidates not to show details in form A and B of the nomination papers. In Form A, affidavit of the candidates regarding details of their family members, assets, obtained loans and litigation was removed. The affidavit about dual nationality and details of passport and annual income of the candidate has also been detached in the new law.

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The amendments in the forms paved the way for corrupt politicians as no one could be declared ineligible on the said grounds in the future, the petitioner says, adding that the amendments are against various articles of the Constitution.

The petitioner has asked the court to restrain the Ministry of Law and the ECP from using the nomination papers.

Chief Justice Shah admitted the petition for a regular hearing and issued notices to the respondents. The court has been adjourned for further hearing till Jan 15.

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