Petition filed in LHC against Imran contesting polls on 9 NA seats

Published August 10, 2022
<p>PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a rally in Karachi. — Photo courtesy PTI Instagram</p>

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a rally in Karachi. — Photo courtesy PTI Instagram

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday fixed for hearing a petition filed against PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s decision to contest for elections on nine National Assembly (NA) seats.

LHC Justice Shahid Jamil Khan will hear the case on Thursday (August 11).

The petition, filed by Advocate Mian Asif Mehm­o­­od, named the Federation of Pakistan through the Cabinet Division secretary, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar through the law secretary, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) through Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, and Imran as respondents in the case.

Last week, the ECP had announced that by-elections on nine NA seats, vacated after PTI lawmakers’ resignation, will be held on September 25.

Immediately after the decision was taken, Imran had announced his candidature for all the seats.

The petition filed today, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said it had become “a lacuna to contest election on multiple seats by the candidates in the general elections”, highlighting that the issue needed to be addressed as it was a “very clear case of political exploitation”.

It pointed out that this phenomenon was legally “questionable” and the costs of an individual contesting multiple seats were “significant” in by-poll-related expenses that would be required if a candidate secured many seats.

The petition also argued that Imran was already a member of the NA and his announced bid for election to the same house was a “gross illegality/irregularity left by the legislature, whereby he will resign from all nine seats eventually if he wins all the seats and this way public exchequer will have to face a huge financial loss”.

The petitioner said he was filing the application on the basis of public importance/interest to get the ambiguity in the law removed for the “larger interest of the nation”, adding that it needed to be heard in the “supreme interest of justice for the interest of the public at large”.

Furthermore, he requested the LHC to direct Imran not to contest any election of the parliament before the submission and acceptance of his resignation as an MNA.

The petition also called for a direction to be issued to the relevant respondents to amend the law so as to regulate the eligibility criteria of parliamentarians to contest the election.

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