Shaukat Tarin’s candidature for Senate by-election challenged

Published December 9, 2021
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin addresses a press conference alongside PM’s Adv­iser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood in Islamabad. — PID/File
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin addresses a press conference alongside PM’s Adv­iser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood in Islamabad. — PID/File

PESHAWAR: A candidate on Wednesday moved the appellate tribunal challenging the candidature of adviser to the prime minister on finance Shaukat Tarin for the Senate by-elections requesting to declare his nomination papers as invalid as he was not a resident of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and his vote was illegally transferred here.

An appeal was filed by Awami National Party nominee Dr Shaukat Jamal Amirzadah against the acceptance of Tarin’s nomination papers by the returning officer on Dec 6.

Filed through Barrister Syed Mudasser Ameer and Barrister M Yasin Raza, it requested the tribunal to set aside the returning officer’s order declaring it illegal.

According to the election schedule, the tribunal has to decide the appeal by Dec 10.

Appellant insists PM’s aide not KP resident, his vote illegally shifted to province

The Senate seat has fallen vacant following the resignation of PTI Senator Ayub Afridi.

Provincial Election Commissioner Sharifullah is the returning officer for the by-election for which polling will take place on Dec 20 here in the provincial assembly’s building here.

The Election Commission of Pakistan will publish the revised list of the candidates on Dec 11. The candidates can withdraw nominations by Dec 13.

The appellant has raised several legal points in his appeal insisting Mr Tarin is neither a registered voter of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa nor is he a resident of Mardan district, where he has transferred his vote to.

He added that Mr Tarin was a permanent resident of Karachi and that his vote was illegally transferred to Mardan as there was a bar on the transfer of vote after the announcement of schedule for the first phase of the local body polls in 17 districts of the province, including Mardan.

The appellant said under Article 62 (1)(C) of the Constitution, a candidate contesting for a seat from a particular province should be registered as a voter in that province.

He contended that Section 110(5) of the Elections Act, 2017, explicitly declared that every nomination paper should be accompanied by a certified copy of the relevant extract from the electoral rolls in which the name of the person nominated was enrolled.

The appellant said Mr Tarin hadn’t attached that certified copy along with his nomination papers.

He said it was evident from the copy of the computerised national identity card of Mr Tarin attached with the nomination papers that the CNIC wasissued on Oct 28, 2021, wherein his temporary address was changed to Mardan.

The appellant said it was in common knowledge that the PTI nominee was a permanent resident of Karachi and lived in a five-star hotel during his stay in Islamabad.

He contended that under Section 39 of the Elections Act, 2017, no revision, correction or transfer of vote in an electoral roll of an area could be made during the period beginning 30 days before the day on which the term of an assembly or a local government was due to expire until the announcement of the results of the general elections to the assembly or the local government.

The appellant said coincidentally, the Senate by-elections and the local government elections had overlapped, so due to the announcement of local government elections through a notification on Nov 4, no changes could be made to the electoral rolls under the law.

He said the vote of Mr Tarin was illegally transferred to the province as it happened after the announcement of the local body election schedule on Nov 16.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021

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