KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday allowed the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate Saifullah Abro to contest the upcoming Senate election.
The two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar through a short order allowed the petitions of the PTI candidate against an order of the election tribunal and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to include his name in the final list of candidates contesting the March 3 election of the upper house.
The PTI candidate through his lawyer filed petitions before the SHC challenging the decision of the election tribunal to disqualify him and pleaded to set aside its order and allow him to contest the election.
After hearing arguments of the lawyers for the petitioner, respondents and the law officer of the ECP, the bench set aside the Feb 22 order of the election tribunal and restored the Feb 18 ruling of returning officer of the ECP.
“For the reasons to be recorded later, petitions are allowed. Consequently, order passed by the returning officer dated 18-02-2021 is restored. The Election Commission of Pakistan is directed to include the name of the petitioner in the final list of candidates contesting election of Senate. The law officer of ECP present in court is directed to intimate the short order to ECP”, the bench in its brief order said.
Rauf Siddiqui’s application to let him contest Senate polls rejected
A one-member election tribunal of SHC had disqualified the PTI candidate from contesting the Senate election on the technocrat seat after two men had filed appeals against the order issued by RO of ECP to accept nomination papers of Mr Abro.
The tribunal had allowed the appeals and observed that the respondent did not meet the criteria laid down in the law to contest Senate election on the technocrat seat as he could not produce the record of his achievements national or international.
Rauf Siddiqui’s plea turned down
Meanwhile, the same bench on Thursday dismissed a petition of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan candidate Rauf Siddiqui against the order of election tribunal of disqualifying him to contest the upcoming Senate election.
Mr Siddiqui had approached the tribunal against the order of RO for rejecting his nomination forms on the grounds that he did not complete 16 years of education as required under the law.
However, the tribunal had dismissed the appeal and upheld the order of returning officer.
‘Missing’ persons case
The provincial police officer on Thursday claimed before another divisional bench of the SHC that out of 591 missing persons in Sindh, 298 had been traced over the past six months.
In the last hearing, the SHC had summoned the inspector general of Sindh police over delay in locating the whereabouts of missing persons.
When the bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto took up a set of petitions about missing persons, IG Mushtaq Mahar turned up and filed a statement.
The IG contended in the statement that the total number of missing persons as on Aug 20, 2020 were 591.
He assured the bench that since second phase of Covid-19 had subsided, in future maximum efforts would be put in to hold regular sessions of joint investigation team for missing persons.
The bench observed that in several cases, JIT sessions were held, but signatures of JIT members were delayed for weeks which caused hold-up in such cases. The IG undertook to look into this aspect.
The bench also directed the provincial home secretary to look into every case individually and pass appropriate orders to the head of the JIT and investigating officers.
The federal secretaries of ministries of interior and defence will also collect reports from the interment centres through quarters concerned and submit the same before the bench till March 22, it added.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021