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PESHAWAR: Two election appellate tribunals here on Monday dismissed the appeals of the National Telecommunication Corporation against the candidature of several former lawmakers over nonpayment, observing some of them have already cleared the dues, while the amount to be paid by others falls within the prescribed limit.

Justice Syed Afsar Shah was the presiding judge of one tribunal and Justice Mussarat Hilali of the other.

Justice Afsar Shah dismissed the appeals of NTC against acceptance of nomination papers of former MNAs Noor Alam Khan, Amir Ayub, Engineer Hamidul Haq and Naeema Kishwar, former provincial ministers Shahram Khan Tarakai and Ziaullah Afridi, and former MPAs Imran Khan Mohmand and Yaseen Khalil.

The NTC had claimed that Rs3,049 was outstanding against Amir Ayub, whose nomination papers were accepted by the returning officer for NA-28 Peshawar-II constituency.

Observe some cleared dues, while amount to be paid by others falls within prescribed limit

The tribunal observed that under Article 63 of the Constitution, the limit of outstanding utility charges for disqualification of a candidate was over Rs10,000.

Similarly, Rs9,509 was outstanding against Noor Alam Khan, the PTI candidate for NA-27 constituency.

Moreover against Naeema Kishwar, who has filed papers for PK-54 constituency, the NTC had claimed that Rs1,064 was outstanding, which was much below the prescribed limit.

The tribunal dismissed the appeal against Engineer Hamidul Haq, who has filed papers on NA-30 Peshawar IV, as only an amount of Rs5,736 was outstanding against him.

Former provincial minister, Ziaullah Afridi, who is contesting on PK-77, appeared before the tribunal and contended that the NTC has alleged that an amount of Rs29,297 was outstanding against him.

He said the amount was against the digital subscriber line installed in his office when he was the provincial minister.

The former minister produced a clearance certificate from the KP administrative department which stated that he was entitled to the said facility and thus the said amount should not be considered outstanding against him.

Similarly, advocate Abdul Munim Khan appeared for Shahram Tarakai and submitted clearance certificate stating that the amount of Rs13,870 against his client had already been cleared.

An appeal against former federal minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao was adjourned to June 26 (Tuesday) with the direction to Mr Sherpao to produce clearance certificate.

The NTC claims that an amount of Rs373,539 has been outstanding against Mr Sherpao, who has presently been contesting on NA-23 Charsadda constituency.

Similarly, the tribunal directed former MPAs, Alamzaib Umerzai and Malik Tehmash Khan to produce clearance certificates on June 26. An amount for Rs17,620 is outstanding against Mr Umerzai, contesting on PK-57 Charsadda, whereas an amount of Rs37,129 is due against Mr Tehmash, who is contesting on PK-67.

The tribunal accepted an appeal field by former MPA, Mohammad Ali Tarakai, who papers were rejected by the returning officer for PK-46 Swabi as a company in which he was a director was loan defaulter of a bank to the tune of Rs752 million.

Advocate Abdul Munim Khan appeared for the petitioner and contended that his client had sold out his share in the company named Japan Power Generation on 2006. He stated that the petitioner had also contested the 2013 general elections and was elected to the KP Assembly. He added that there was no justification in rejecting his papers.

Meanwhile, the Justice Mussarat Hilali tribunal also rejected pleas of the NTC against ex-MNA Malik Bilal Rehman, ex-MPAs Nasim Hayat and Riffat Akbar Swathi and another female candidate on reserved seats Khursheed Begum as the outstanding dues fell within the prescribed limit.

An amount of Rs5,260 was outstanding against Malik Bilal Rehman contesting on NA-42 Mohmand region, whereas Rs6,194, Rs2,362 and Rs1,790 were outstanding against Nasim Hayat, Riffat Akbar Swathi and Khursheed Begum, respectively.

These tribunals will continue hearing appeals until June 27, the last date of disposing of the appeals originating out of orders of the returning officers.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2018