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KARACHI, April 17: A three-member election appellate tribunal set up in the Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan and others in 10 constitutional petitions against the decisions of the SHC’s election tribunal that disposed of as many as 241 election appeals against the decisions of returning officers.

The petitioners included Nawabzada Mir Nadir Khan Magsi, Mir Ahmed Nawaz, Ali Nawaz Mahar, Manzoor Hussain Ansari, Abdul Aziz Memon, Tariq Iqbal and Syed Murad Ali Shah.

While issuing notices in the election petitions, the bench ordered that the impugned orders of the election tribunal shall not come in the way of candidature of the petitioners till Thursday when the appellate tribunal would take up their pleas.

The appellate tribunal headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar also adjourned the hearing of former military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf’s petition against the dismissal of his election appeal by the election tribunal.

Gen Musharraf submitted in his petition that the election tribunal misconstrued Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. He stated the tribunal erred in construing the word ‘righteous’, ‘sagacious’ and ‘ameen’.

He stated that the election tribunal in its order stated “Nothing herein is intended to reflect, or should be construed as reflecting, on the appellant when acting in his private capacity”. He said so far the election was concerned the appellant was seeking to contest it in his private capacity and the observations of the election tribunal would be applicable.

The former president stated that the right of fair trial had become statutory right of every citizen of the country with the inception of Article 10-A of the Constitution, nonetheless the RO in his flow of verbosity, showed sheer ignorance to the above statutory right of the petitioner. He stated the RO had in fact mala fidely pre-determined the guilt of the petitioner without affording him right to fair trial and also the right to defend the charges against him by showing his apprehensions that the petitioner was liable to be punished.

Gen Musharraf stated that the he was presumed to be innocent till he was proven guilty by any court of law as he had not been tried in any court of law so there was no question of his being proven guilty.

On Wednesday afternoon, when the appellate bench took up the petition of the former chief of army staff, none appeared in court on his behalf despite repeated calls.

The bench ordered: “None present for the petitioner. However, in the interest of justice matter is adjourned to April 18”.

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