Abro, Rauf Siddiqui challenge rejection of Senate nominations in SHC
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Saifullah Abro and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Rauf Siddiqui on Wednesday challenged the rejection of their nomination papers for the Senate elections 2021 by the election tribunal in the Sindh High Court (SHC), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
In their petitions, they argued that the election tribunal, while rejecting their papers, ignored the facts, and, therefore, they be allowed to contest the Senate elections.
Abro told the two-member bench of the SHC that since he met the criterion set for contesting the Senate elections on the seat of a technocrat, therefore the election tribunal’s verdict be declared null and void and he be allowed to run for the Senate seat.
Similarly, MQM-P’s Rauf Siddiqui also prayed to the two-member bench of the SHC that since the election tribunal did not take facts into account while deciding on his nomination papers, therefore, he be allowed to contest election for upper house of the parliament.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had suffered a huge blow on Monday (February 22) when the Sindh Election Tribunal rejected the nomination papers of party’s candidate Saifullah Abro for the Senate elections by declaring the returning officer’s (RO) verdict null and void.
In its verdict given in the appeal filed against the acceptance of Abro’s nomination papers for the seat of a technocrat, the tribunal said the objections raised in the appeal were found to be valid, that he did not meet the criterion set for a technocrat, and, therefore, the appeal was accepted.
Earlier, during the hearing of the appeal, Haider Waheed, counsel for the PTI candidate had argued that under the elections rules the appeal against his client’s candidature was not admissible and that Mustafa Memon, who had filed the appeal, was himself not a candidate.
Counsel for Abro further said that since his client was a licenced engineer from Pakistan Engineering Council, he was eligible to run for the Senate elections on the seat of a technocrat. “Saifullah Abro’s academic period spreads over 16 years and he has a 20-year engineering experience as well. Besides that he is currently CEO of a construction company,” counsel Haider Waheed argued.
He told the tribunal that Saifullah Abro had nothing to do with the project which the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was investigating in connection with corruption charges. “Similarly, the arrest warrants issued for my client have also been suspended,” he said and added his (Abro) name had also been deleted from the Exit Control List (ECL).
Similarly, the ECP had rejected the nomination papers of MQM-P’s Rauf Siddiqui.
Rauf's appeal against the ECP’s decision was also rejected by the Election Tribunal as his lawyers could not come up with a satisfactory explanation for his eligibility.
The tribunal, therefore, upheld the decision of the returning officer (RO).
It may be recalled here that the RO had rejected the nomination papers of Siddiqui for the Senate elections because he had not completed 16 years of education.