The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday cleared former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani to contest the upcoming polls after objections were raised on his nomination papers.
The court took the decision against an appeal filed for rejection of Gillani's nomination. The appeal was filed by a contending candidate Nisar Ahmed, who maintained that Gilani’s wife, mother and mother-in-law were absolved of their liabilities with help from the former premier.
Gilani’s disqualification ends, free to contest polls
Gilani’s family members currently serve as directors of two companies whose loans have been written off, the petitioner told the CJP, adding that Fauzia Gilani held 12 per cent shares in the company she had been given the charge of.
Justice Nisar also inquired whether ECP rules prohibited candidates from contesting based on the stake they have in any company, to which the counsel for the petitioner recalled that the top court had declared it illegal for anyone to get loans written off.
“Where has the court objected to writing off the loans sanctioned by SBP?” asked Justice Ijazul Hasan. After hearing the arguments, the apex court dismissed the petition and allowed the former premier to contest the upcoming elections.
In April 2017, Gilani's disqualification ended, allowing him to contest the upcoming general elections.
Gilani was disqualified from contesting a seat in the parliament from the date of his conviction (April 26, 2012) by a Supreme Court bench headed by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry over contempt of court on June 19, 2012. He was convicted till rising of the court. The PPP government had not filed an appeal against the conviction.
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While speaking to The Express Tribune, Gilani said, “Although injustice was done to me I stand for democracy.” He added, “Nothing has ever been proved against the PPP but party workers have always suffered at the hands of rulers and judges.”
“I was found guilty, convicted and disqualified as a member of the Parliament by the then judiciary. However, after five years, no charges were framed against me,” he had said.