Disqualification to Contest Elections – Statutory Corporations’ Employees

Disqualification to Contest Elections - Statutory Corporations' Employees Case Laws Constitutional Law Election Knowledge - Constitutional Law Litigation & Arbitration Local Government Solutions - Constitutional Law Statutory Corporation Supreme Court Mr. Justice Mushir Alam in his judgment has decided the issue of disqualification to contest elections for employees of statutory corporations in Civil Petition No. 3460 of 2015.

1. The petitioner challenged the candidature of Abu Bakar, respondent No.3 herein, from his being elected as a General Councilor, Ward No.1, Municipal Committee Alipur, Tehsil Alipur, District Muzaffargarh on twofold grounds. Firstly, that he was an employee of Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan [to be referred as the Corporation], and a period of five years has not lapsed since his dismissal from service on 26.12.2013 and secondly that he is involved in criminal cases and has been declared absconder from the Court of law and is thus disqualified to contest the elections under Section 27 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2013 [hereinafter to be referred as ‘the Act, 2013]. The Returning Officer, vide order dated 08.10.2015 dismissed the objections raised by the petitioner and accepted the nomination papers filed by respondent No.3 to contest local bodies election. This order was maintained by the Appellate Authority/Tribunal, with the observations that “the respondent No.2/candidate was not a regular employee of Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (Private) Limited. Moreover, the appellant did fail to produce any record regarding conviction passed by any court of law against the respondent No.2/candidate.”, vide order dated 04.11.2015. Writ Petition was also dismissed, vide impugned order dated 09.11.2015 and orders passed by the lower fora were maintained on the grounds that “the respondent No.3 is not a government servant/employee neither falls in the definition of a public servant and that the documents attached by the petitioner do not show, in any manner whatsoever, that respondent No.3 has been convicted by any competent Court. Hence, the present petition.

2. Learned counsel for the Petitioner at the very outset does not press the disqualification of the respondent No.3 on the last mentioned ground that he is involved in criminal cases and has been declared absconder from the Court of law, as he has not been able to procure any material to prove any conviction from the Court of competent jurisdiction as postulated under clauses (i) and (j) of sub section (2) of section 27 of the Act, 2013.

3. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record. It is not disputed that respondent No.3 was an employee of the Corporation, which is admittedly owned and controlled by the Government of Pakistan. The Act, 2013 through clauses mentioned under sub-section (2) of Section 27 thereof not only enumerates disqualifications but also period of ineligibility on account of such disqualification for the candidates and elected members. Relevant for the purposes of present controversy are the disqualification enlisted in clauses (e), (g) & (h) of subsection (2) of Section 27 of the Act, 2013:

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