Supreme Court rejects petition seeking Sindh CM Murad Shah's disqualification

Updated 23 Jan 2019

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A petition filed by Roshan Ali Buriro of the Sindh United Party demanded that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah be disqualified on account of his dual nationality. ─ File photo
A petition filed by Roshan Ali Buriro of the Sindh United Party demanded that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Shah be disqualified on account of his dual nationality. ─ File photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a petition seeking the disqualification of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on the grounds that the petitioner had failed to produce enough arguments to satisfy the court.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Yahya Afridi, heard a petition filed by Roshan Ali Buriro of the Sindh United Party demanding that Shah be disqualified on account of his dual nationality. Justice Bandial pointed out that the Sindh chief minister had renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2013, therefore, he could not be disqualified on those grounds.

The bench further said that the petitioner's intent was questionable as he was a political opponent of Shah.

"The prima facie [grounds for] disqualification are not clear in this case," Justice Bandial declared.

Buriro had earlier filed a similar appeal with a returning officer that had been turned down. He had then approached the Sindh High Court which also dismissed his petition. Following the high court's decision, the petitioner approached the top court.

The bench, during the hearing today, said that the petitioner had not challenged the returning officer's verdict in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which is the relevant legal forum, and instead approached the high court.

"Why was the petition filed in the high court when a legal forum is available?" Justice Muneeb asked.

"Everyone keeps filing appeals for disqualification of office bearers in high courts or the Supreme Court," he regretted.

LHC turns down appeal for Aleem Khan's disqualification

A petition seeking the disqualification of Punjab Assembly's lawmaker Aleem Khan was dismissed by the Lahore High Court today.

The petition was filed by Rana Ahsan of the PML-N, who had lost the election for PP-158 last year. He accused Khan of hiding assets and urged the court to disqualify him under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

Khan's lawyer Advocate Azhar Siddiq said that his client had not hidden any offshore companies or overseas assets and that he was an "honest and trustworthy taxpayer". He termed Ahsan's petition as "political revenge".

The court had reserved its verdict on the case on Monday.