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LHC permits Ishaq Dar to contest Senate elections

LAHORE ( Muslim Times) – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday while announcing the reserve verdict permitted Ishaq Dar to contest Senate elections.

During the hearing, former Finance Minister’s lawyer told court that Ishaq Dar submitted nomination papers for technocrat and general seat but they were rejected on the basis of no separate bank accounts and unverified identity card.

He maintained that returning officer rejected the papers without hearing the arguments of the candidate’s lawyer.

Punjab Election Commission’s lawyer argued that showing two bank accounts for one seat and possessing a unverified ID card is dishonesty.

The court after hearing the arguments of both the parties permitted Dar to take part in Senate elections. Moreover, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s sister Sadia Abbasi and Nuzhat Sadiq were also allowed to contest the Senate polls.

Dar had challenged the rejection of his nomination papers by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in LHC’s appellate tribunal. He had adopted stance that the returning officer rejected the nomination papers contrary to the facts. He maintained that all the legal requirements for the papers were fulfilled.

The appeal had demanded the court to annul the action of returning officer.

The opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had challenged the nomination papers of Dar, pointing out that Dar was declared absconder in the corruption reference against him heard by NAB court.

ECP ruled that Dar is ineligible to contest in the Senate elections since there is a pending corruption case against him in the accountability court.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had nominated Ishaq Dar as its Senate candidate for another three-year term as nine of the PML-N Senators are due to retire next month after completing their terms.

Dar was to contest in the Senate polls over two seats, a general seat and technocrat seat. The PTI lawyer reasoned that Dar submitted the same account details for expenditure while contesting for both seats.

At least 52 Senators will retire next month ahead of the Senate elections on March 3. PML-N is likely to gain an overwhelming majority in the upper house of parliament.

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