KARACHI: Two Shirazi brothers can take part in the by-elections as the Sindh High Court (SHC) has temporarily suspended their disqualification orders till August 6.
On Wednesday, a larger bench of the SHC - headed by Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai - passed the stay order on appeals filed by Syed Riaz Hussain Shah Shirazi and his brother, Syed Sarfaraz Hussain Shah Shirazi. Earlier, an election appellate tribunal had suspended the acceptance of Shirazis’ nomination papers by a returning officer to contest the August 22 by-elections for NA-237 in Thatta.
On July 27, the tribunal had allowed appeals filed by Pakistan Peoples Party’s Shamsun Nisa and Abdul Aziz Memon, who claimed the Shirazi brothers concealed facts about the changes in their date of birth in documents, their assets and their alleged involvement in encroachment on forest lands when they filed their nomination papers.
Faisal Kamal, the lawyer representing the Shirazis, argued the returning officer had rightly rejected the objections filed by Abdul Aziz Memon, who himself was not contesting the elections, so he could not object to any candidate’s nomination under section 14(5) of the Representation of Peoples Act 1976.
The lawyer further argued that Nisa had raised such false objections against the Shirazis, who had in fact challenged the candidature of her son, Sadiq Ali Memon, to contest the May 11 general elections, and was subsequently disqualified.
Kamal contended that the appellate tribunal had failed to note that these objections were meant to take avenge from the petitioners, thus it was liable to be set aside. He pleaded the court to suspend the operations of the disqualification order and declare the petitioners qualified to contest the elections.
The larger bench, after the initial hearing, issued notices to the secretaries of the chief election commission, provincial election commission, Shamsun Nisa and Abdul Aziz Memon for August 6. The bench directed its office to communicate the order to the relevant returning officer and provincial election commission on Wednesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.