Haleem approaches SHC for Murad’s disqualification

Published July 1, 2021
Haleem (L) submitted in the petition that in 2012 the Supreme Court had disqualified Murad Ali Shah (R) and others and directed the ECP to initiate legal proceedings against them. — — Photo courtesy Twitter/Dawn
Haleem (L) submitted in the petition that in 2012 the Supreme Court had disqualified Murad Ali Shah (R) and others and directed the ECP to initiate legal proceedings against them. — — Photo courtesy Twitter/Dawn

KARACHI: Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court seeking disqualification of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

He submitted in the petition that in 2012 the Supreme Court had disqualified Mr Shah and others and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to initiate legal proceedings against them for filing mis-declaration.

However, he further submitted that Mr Shah had managed to get himself elected in a by-election in 2014 allegedly by defying the judgement of the apex court.

Impleading the ECP, provincial election commissioner and Mr Shah as respondents, petitioner Sheikh asked the SHC to declare the chief minister ineligible for holding membership of the provincial assembly by declaring the notification of the ECP as null and void.

Claims chief minister has already been disqualified by the apex court

He also sought a restraining order against Mr Shah till the disposal of the petition.

The matter is likely to be fixed for hearing soon.

It may be recalled that an identical petition was already pending before the SHC against the chief minister.

Petitioner Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, a regular litigant, in his petition submitted that the apex court had disqualified Mr Shah and others in a dual nationality case, but with the alleged help/connivance of the ECP he contested the by-election in 2014 and general elections of 2018.

The petitioner sought disqualification of the chief minister for holding dual nationality while filing nomination papers for the seat of a provincial assembly during the general elections in 2013.

In the last hearing, the ECP had informed the SHC that an application seeking disqualification of Mr Shah was pending before it as it was waiting for the decision of the SHC on criminal appeals involving the identical matter.

The ECP submitted that the ECP and the petitioner in the present case had filed criminal appeals against the acquittal of Mr Shah in 2014 and the same was pending before the SHC while a review petition on a similar issue was also pending before the apex court.

The ECP further argued that in the light of the apex court judgement handed down in 2012 in the dual nationality case, it had filed a criminal complaint against Mr Shah before the district and sessions court (Jamshoro) for allegedly filing false declarations along with his nomination papers for elections to conceal their dual nationality, but the trial court dismissed it in 2014 and acquitted him.

Thereafter, it said that the ECP as well as the present petitioner filed criminal appeals before the SHC against the trial court order for acquitting Mr Shah, who had also contested the by-election held in 2014 and 2018 general elections on a provincial assembly seat and declared as returned candidate twice.

The ECP further maintained that the petitioner in the present case had filed an application before the ECP in 2014 to issue a notification disqualifying Mr Shah for a period of five years in the light of the apex court judgement.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2021

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