RAWALPINDI: An election tribunal rejected former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s nomination papers for NA-51 constituency in Gojar Khan, reported Express News on Monday.
Ashraf had filed an appeal with the tribunal against the rejection of his nominations by the returning officer (RO).
The tribunal, comprising Justice Rauf Ahmad Sheikh and Justice Mamoon Rashid of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench, heard the arguments from both the sides and reserved its judgement on Monday.
Returning Officer Khalid Arshad had rejected Ashraf’s papers after Raja Irfan Aziz, a relative of the candidate’s political rival, complained that the former prime minister had misused discretionary funds in his constituency.
The nomination papers were rejected on the basis of awarding a contract to the National Logistic Cell (NLC), for involvement in the Rental Power Projects case and in a contempt of court case for writing a letter to the Supreme Court.
Sheikh Zameer Hussain, representing the returning officer, told the tribunal that Ashraf had awarded a contract to NLC without advertising it.
He said that Ashraf has also increased the funds allocated for the project while scope of the work remained the same.
“He also elevated his two son-in-laws on high posts which are the glaring examples of nepotism, favouritism and naked corruption,” he added.
Hussain said Ashraf has been declared of being not sagacious and righteous by Islamabad High Court and has been issued a notice by the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case.
Leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Senator Farooq H Naek appeared before the two-member tribunal as a counsel for the petitioner, seeking an order to overturn the verdict of the RO.
Naek contended that the nomination papers of his client were wrongly rejected as he never misused discretionary powers to allocate development funds for his constituency.
He said Ashraf has the legal and constitutional right to contest the general elections.
He added that an appeal would be filed in the Supreme Court against the tribunal’s decision.