SC dismisses plea seeking Sheikh Rasheed’s disqualification

SC dismisses plea seeking Sheikh Rasheed's disqualification

ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has been declared eligible to contest upcoming elections as the Supreme Court has announced its verdict in the disqualification case, on Wednesday.
The judgment was announced with a majority of 2 to 1, with Justice Qazi Faez Esa giving a dissenting opinion that the full court should decide the question of law whether every mistake leads to disqualification or not.
The petition seeking disqualification of firebrand leader was filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Shakeel Awan who lost the 2013 general election to Rasheed; the petition was dismissed by the apex court.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah announced the decision; the bench had reserved the verdict on March 20, 2018.
Talking to newsmen after the verdict, AML supremo Sheikh Rasheed expressed that he and his assets belonged to Pindi adding that he did not conceal anything from the public eye.
The politician explained he wants to see the political future of those who were eyeing his political death, asserting that he would form a coalition government with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, Imran Khan.
The Pindidite did not miss the chance to heap scorn on former premier and claimed that he would have accepted an unfavourable decision as well, saying he was not Nawaz Sharif.
‘I am a Pindi boy and my fortune belongs to my city Rawalpindi,’ quipped the visibly satisfied political figure. “I have done nothing wrong and never hid any of my assets,” he said. “God is great; today, He bestowed me with respect again.”
During hearing of the petition, Awan’s counsel had argued before the three-member bench that according to the Representation of People’s Act, it was necessary to accurately declare all of one’s assets before contesting elections.
He had asserted that the most recent court case regarding the wrong filling of nomination papers was the 2017 Panama Papers judgment by the apex court.
Rasheed’s counsel, on the other hand, had contended that his client did not conceal anything and accepted that his client had owned the mistake in valuing his assets.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, during the earlier hearing, had remarked that according to the petitioner, whatever the error was, the lawmaker should be disqualified.
The question was whether a lawmaker stood disqualified if it was proved that he or she had committed an error while filling out the nomination papers or his/her assets, Justice Saeed had observed.

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