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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court dismissed former army chief General Pervez Musharraf’s (retd) appeal for rejection of his nomination papers for the National Assembly seat from Karachi for being infructuous.

A three-member judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Thursday, heard the appeal against the Sindh High Court (SHC)’s verdict.

The bench said if Musharraf again contested election then he could defend the objections on his nomination papers. It noted that the ex-COAS had submitted papers for contesting election for the National Assembly in 2013, which termed expired on 2018.

Muhammad Iqbal Hashmi advocate, representing the former chief, said the present appeal was against the SHC, while the other one, against the Peshawar High Court (PHC), was not fixed today (Thursday).

The bench directed the SC office to fix the second appeal against the PHC before a larger bench.

Musharraf’s counsel said his client was out of the country; therefore, he could not contact him. He prayed that both the appeals be heard together by the same bench. However, Justice Bandial said the appeal against the SHC had been dismissed, while the second appeal would be decided when it was fixed.

The SHC and the PHC in 2013 had rejected Musharraf’s election petitions.

A larger bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, in April 2013 had dismissed Musharraf’s plea.

The nomination papers of the former military dictator for NA-250 were rejected by the concerned returning officer on the grounds that he suspended the constitution and detained the judges, and he was liable to be tried.

Musharraf filed an election appeal in the election tribunal against the decision of the returning officer, submitting that he was presumed to be innocent till he was proven guilty by any court of law and that there was no question of his being proven guilty as he was not tried in any court of law.

The election tribunal; however, rejected his election appeal and upheld the rejection of his nomination papers by the returning officer. He then moved the SHC appellate bench through a constitutional petition against the judgment of the election tribunal, which maintained the tribunal findings.

Similarly, the PHC in May 2013 imposed a lifetime ban on former president Pervez Musharraf from contesting elections. The verdict of the four-member bench was given in an appeal filed by Musharraf on him being declared ineligible for running a seat from Chitral.

The court took the decision based on the imposition of military rule by the former army chief and president. The larger bench of the PHC, headed by the chief justice, also dismissed Musharraf’s appeal against his disqualification from the elections and the rejection of his nomination papers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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