Rejection of Nomination Papers Due to Absconding Status


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black bird flying over the sea during daytime

In a significant judgment, the Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi Bench dismissed the appeals of Hafiz Ammar Yasir, challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for NA-59, PP-22, and PP-23 constituencies. This ruling highlights the critical importance of adhering to procedural requirements and the implications of absconding status in election nominations.

Key Areas:

Absconding Status: Hafiz Ammar Yasir's nomination papers were rejected because he was declared an absconder in FIR No. 157/23 registered at Police Station Saddar Talagang. The court noted that Yasir failed to appear before the Returning Officer or the Tribunal despite being given opportunities. This non-appearance and his status as a proclaimed offender were grounds for disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, as they indicated a lack of sagacity and righteousness, referencing "Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi v. Federation of Pakistan" (PLD 2012 Supreme Court 1089).

Failure to Open Exclusive Accounts: Yasir did not open separate bank accounts for each constituency, as required by Sections 60(2)(b) and 133 of the Elections Act, 2017. The court emphasized that the legislative intent behind this requirement is to monitor and limit election expenditures, preventing candidates from exceeding the prescribed limits.

Improper Attestation and Fictitious Signatures: The nomination papers were not signed by Yasir in the presence of an Oath Commissioner, as he was in Saudi Arabia. The court found discrepancies in the attestation process, rendering the documents invalid under the Rules and Orders of the Lahore High Court and the Elections Act, 2017. This was supported by the precedent "Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif through Attorney v. Election Commission of Pakistan" (PLD 2003 Lahore 646).

Concealment of Assets: Yasir failed to disclose certain assets in Form-B, which was considered a deliberate attempt to conceal material information.

Conclusion: Judge Ch. Abdul Aziz concluded that the rejection of Yasir's nomination papers was lawful and justified due to procedural non-compliance, absconding status, and asset concealment. The appeals were dismissed, reinforcing the integrity of the electoral process and the necessity of adhering to legal and procedural requirements.

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