Rejection of Nomination Papers Over Multiple Legal Violations


green ceramic statue of a man
green ceramic statue of a man

In a significant ruling, the Lahore High Court dismissed the writ petition filed by Moonis Elahi challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for the NA-64 Gujrat-III constituency. This decision highlights the critical importance of compliance with legal and procedural requirements in the election process.

Key Areas:

Grounds for Rejection: Moonis Elahi’s nomination papers were rejected by the Returning Officer due to multiple reasons, including his status as a proclaimed offender in two FIRs (No. 149/2023 and No. 364/2023) and the alleged submission of false information. The objections also included discrepancies in the signatures of his proposer and seconder, and the improper attestation of his nomination papers by an expired Oath Commissioner’s license.

Legal Violations: The court noted that Elahi recorded his consent on the nomination papers from Spain before his nomination by the proposer and seconder, raising questions about the validity of the process. Additionally, the court found that Elahi concealed ownership of land and did not declare his GRATIS passport, violating Section 60(2) of the Elections Act, 2017, and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

Power of Attorney Issues: Elahi’s mother, Qaisra Elahi, was given power of attorney to handle his nomination process. However, the court found that the power of attorney was not executed according to the legal mandate, rendering it invalid. This meant that any acts performed by her on behalf of Elahi had no legal standing.

Judicial Precedents: The court referenced "Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi v. Election Commission of Pakistan" (PLD 2008 SC 735) to emphasize the limited scope of judicial review in election matters, which is confined to examining whether the election authorities acted within their lawful authority and without malice.

Conclusion: Judges Ali Baqar Najafi, Shahid Bilal Hassan, and Jawad Hassan concluded that Elahi’s nomination papers were rightly rejected due to procedural non-compliance, concealment of assets, and his fugitive status. The court upheld the decisions of the Returning Officer and the Appellate Tribunal, dismissing the writ petition.

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