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Reply sought from ECP on plea against Senate polls.

LAHORE -- The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought replies from Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other respondents on a petition challenging process of the scrutiny of candidates for upcoming Senate election.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, the petitioner, mainly questioned the scrutiny of nomination papers filed by Rana Maqbool, Shaheen Khalid Butt, Sadia Abbasi, Nuzhat Sadiq, Mushahid Hussain, Zubair Gull, Ahmad Saeed Kirmani and Hafiz Abdul Karim of PML-N besides Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The lawyer argued before the court that the election commission accepted nomination of those candidates who had been in service of Pakistan and possessed dual nationality. He said the commission failed to hold proper scrutiny of the respondent candidates' nomination papers in a transparent manner.

The petitioner also questioned 'The Election Act 2017' and argued that the ECP was not bound to implement the amendments introduced under the act as per article 218(3) of the Constitution.

Advocate Siddique pleaded that if the elections were not stayed the constitutional provisions would be negated and the settled principles of law read with constitutional provisions would be violated.

He alleged that all the parties in the parliament with mala fide intention, ensured non-disclosure of essential details in the nomination forms to be used in the forthcoming elections.

He said the parties failed to realise that it was a requirement of the supreme law of the land as concealing vital information relating to payment of taxes and written-off loans etc., was in conflict with articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

He pleaded that the disclosure of the said requirements was constitutional obligation and could not be waived or relaxed under the impugned Election Act, 2017. He argued that the process of scrutiny of the candidates for Senate polls was defective in terms of articles 62 and 63.

Therefore, he asked the court to set aside the scrutiny process of Senate election till removal of errors in the Election Act, 2017 by the relevant authorities.

Justice Shahid Karim heard the arguments and issued notices to the respondents for Feb 20.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 15, 2018
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