Rejection of Nomination Papers Due to Non-Disclosure and Procedural Errors


a lit candle sitting on top of a wooden table
a lit candle sitting on top of a wooden table

In a recent ruling, the Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi Bench dismissed the appeals of Ch. Pervaiz Elahi and his wife, Mst. Qaisra Elahi, who challenged the rejection of their nomination papers for the NA-59 and PP-23 constituencies. This judgment emphasizes the importance of accurate asset disclosure and adherence to procedural requirements in election nominations.

Key Areas:

Improper Attestation and Affidavits: Both appellants failed to properly attest their affidavits and declarations in their nomination papers. The court highlighted that declarations of assets and liabilities must be verified by an Oath Commissioner, as stipulated by the Rules and Orders of the Lahore High Court and the Elections Act, 2017. This procedural error was deemed substantial.

Failure to Open Separate Accounts: The appellants did not open or dedicate exclusive bank accounts for each constituency as required under Sections 60(2)(b) and 133 of the Elections Act, 2017. This requirement ensures transparency in election expenditures. The court upheld the Returning Officer’s objection, noting the legislative intent to monitor and limit election spending.

Non-Disclosure of Assets: Ch. Pervaiz Elahi failed to disclose his shares in Lahore Modern Flour Mills (Pvt.) Limited and omitted details of seven licensed weapons. Similarly, Qaisra Elahi did not mention the balance in four of her bank accounts, including three in Turkey, and omitted expenses for foreign tours from her tax returns. These omissions were considered deliberate attempts to conceal material information.

Judicial Precedents: The court referenced "Habib Akram v. Federation of Pakistan" (PLD 2018 Lahore 641) and "Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan v. Habib Akram" (PLD 2018 Supreme Court 678), which mandate the disclosure of all relevant information in nomination papers. Failure to comply renders the nomination papers incomplete and subject to rejection.

Conclusion: Judge Ch. Abdul Aziz concluded that the appellants' nomination papers were rightfully rejected due to significant procedural and substantive errors. The court emphasized that seasoned politicians like Ch. Pervaiz Elahi should be well aware of these requirements, and their omissions could not be excused as minor. Consequently, the appeals were dismissed, reaffirming the importance of transparency and adherence to election laws.

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