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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has appealed the rejection of his nomination papers for the NA-53 constituency in Islamabad before an appellate tribunal.

His case will be taken up today (Thursday) by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, the presiding officer of the tribunal set up by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

NA-53 returning officer Mohammad Adnan Khan rejected Mr Khan’s nomination papers because he did not include his contributions to his previous constituency, NA-56 in Rawalpindi.

Khan’s papers for NA-53 were rejected for failing to include contributions to NA-56

Mr Khan has said that his philanthropic work should be considered his contribution to his previous constituency, which comprises Rawalpindi’s upscale areas.

In his appeal he claimed that no funds, schemes or projects were allotted to him because he heads the largest political party in the country and the federal and Punjab governments had been hostile to him.

He contended that his nomination papers were rejected on whimsical and unfounded grounds.

“While scrutinising the affidavit of candidate Imran, I found a clause-N of the affidavit made applicable for a class of candidates who served as elected members from any national and/or provincial assemblies and require information of their constituencies in as much as the detailed facts/instances of their important contributions for the benefit of their said constituencies like him from NA-56 in the year 2013-2018.

“These important contributions for the voters benefit of said constituencies may have included their rights under part-II of the Constitution of 1973 and/or are fund based. The requirement of this clause in the affidavit of candidate Imran despite being wholly applicable is not answered/completed as the same is left blank/unattended. The affidavit is not duly filled in the way it was so required as per spirit of directions of Supreme Court,” the returning officer observed while rejecting Mr Khan’s papers.

Mr Khan argued that he did not conceal any facts or make any false declarations, and therefore the penalty inflicted is against all norms of justice.

He stated: “Appellant was not allotted with any project/scheme but he continued his services as philanthropist in the fields of cancer cure and higher education. Reference can be made to Shaukat Khanum hospitals in Lahore, Peshawar and NAMAL University in Mainwali. That the appellant wilfully did not conceal any facts and the penalty being imposed at him is unjustified, unprecedented and harsh.”

Mr Khan has also expressed his willingness to rectify the required entry in clause (N) of the affidavit, and asked the tribunal to set aside the returning officer’s order and accept his nomination papers.

Tribunal clears Fawad Chaudhry

An elections tribunal in Rawalpindi, consisting of Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi from the Lahore High Court, dismissed an appeal against the acceptable of PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry’s nomination papers.

Syed Fakhar Haider, a candidate from NA-67 (Jhelum) had objected to the acceptance of Mr Chaudhry’s nomination papers for concealing tax details, real sources of income and other details.

The tribunal observed that only a candidate from the same constituency was competent to file an appeal. The appellant, who claimed to be candidate, failed to substantiate his claim. The appeal was also filed after the acceptance of nomination papers and the appellant did not raise his objections before the returning officer.

In his appeal, Mr Haider claimed Mr Chaudhry had deliberately and wrongly stated his name to be Chaudhry Fawad Hussain even though his name according to his CNIC is Fawad Ahmed.

He said he also mentioned his agricultural income for the last three years but not his taxes on his income. According to his statement, he incurred Rs1.2 million on foreign trips in 2015 but the expense was not mentioned in his 2015 income tax returns.

The appellant claimed that in 2016, Mr Chaudhry incurred Rs1.6m on foreign trips but did not mention this in his income tax returns. He also did not mention his transferred assets.

Mr Haider alleged that Mr Chaudhry’s assets and income did not match his stated sources of income and accused him of concealing his real occupation and the money derived from it. He claimed Mr Chaudhry had left his legal practice a long time ago and now earned from journalism.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018