Appellate Tribunals on Wednesday upheld the rejection of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s nomination papers for Lahore’s NA-122 and Mianwali’s NA-89 constituencies, leaving him sidelined from the upcoming Feb. 8 general elections.
Justice Tariq Nadeem, presiding over the election tribunal at the Lahore High Court (LHC), dismissed the appeal pertaining to the rejection of Khan’s papers for NA-122, upholding the returning officer (RO)’s decision that the former prime minister’s endorser did not belong to the constituency. In his appeal, Khan had contended that the RO had dismissed the nomination papers unlawfully and against the facts.
Appellate Tribunal Judge Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, meanwhile, upheld Khan’s rejection to contest NA-89, issuing an order stating it was “mainly structured upon the ground that since the appellant stands convicted in a case with sentence of three years, thus is disqualified under Article 63(1) of the Constitution for becoming a member of parliament.”
The order noted the judgment of conviction against the PTI founder was passed by a court beyond the territorial and legal limits of the tribunal, adding as a consequence the nomination papers were “rightly rejected” by the RO. “As a necessary consequence, the instant election appeal stands dismissed,” it added.
Khan had appealed against the rejections last. After the decisions were announced, Khan’s counsel Umair Niazi told media he would challenge them in the high court before a larger bench.
Separately, PTI leader Yasmin Rashid’s rejection was dismissed, and she was cleared to contest the Feb. 8 general elections from NA-130.
Wednesday (Jan. 10) marked the last day to dispose of appeals filed against the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers. According to the schedule issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), it would issue a preliminary list of candidates today (Thursday), with candidates permitted to withdraw their nomination papers until Friday. A revised list of final candidates would be issued on Friday evening, with electoral symbols to be allotted on Saturday, it added.