PTI, MQM leaders approach SHC to appeal rejection of Senate nomination papers

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MQM and PTI leaders ask the SHC to overturn an election tribunal decision declaring them ineligible for Senate polls
Both leaders were vying for a technocrat seat from Sindh
Leaders maintain that they do meet requirements for technocrat seat
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday said it will hear appeals filed by MQM-Pakistan and PTI leaders challenging an election tribunal’s order declaring them ineligible for Senate technocrat seats.

The separate pleas were filed by PTI’s Saifullah Abro and MQM-P’s Rauf Siddiqui.

Abro, in his plea, argued that the tribunal gave the ruling in his case while “ignoring the facts”. He added that he meets all the requirements required from a person seeking a Senate seat as a technocrat.

Read more: Nomination papers of Senate candidate Saifullah Abro rejected

He urged the court to declare the tribunal’s ruling as illegal and allow him to contest the Senate elections.

The tribunal had declared Abro as ineligible after his nomination papers for a technocrat seat from Sindh, accepted by the returning officer (RO), were challenged by GM Khan and Shahid Ali last week.

The petitioners had contested the RO’s ruling on grounds that Abro does not meet the requirements of a technocrat as he has criminal cases registered against him, and was being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). They had also alleged that the PTI leader had hidden assets to his name.

Abro’s lawyer had contested the claims laid before the tribunal, but failed to secure a favourable ruling for his client.

In its verdict, the tribunal declared the verdict of the RO null and void and ruled that Abro cannot contest the Senate polls.

“The objections raised by the petitioners were proved true and Saifullah Abro does not fulfil the requirement of a technocrat,” the order had stated.

Rauf Siddiqui urges court to allow him to contest Senate polls
On the other hand, Rauf Siddiqui, whose papers were rejected by a returning officer, also urged the court to overturn the decision and let him contest the senate polls.

The Election Tribunal had earlier disqualified Rauf from contesting the Senate elections on Monday.

Rauf’s appeal against the returning officer’s decision to declare him ineligible was rejected by the Election Tribunal as his lawyers could not come up with a satisfactory explanation for his eligibility.

Read more: Rauf Siddiqui of MQM-P declared ineligible to contest Senate election

The RO had rejected the nomination papers filed by Rauf Siddiqui on the grounds that he had not completed 16 years of education, which is a prerequisite for contesting candidates.

Rauf’s nomination papers were rejected the same day as Saifullah Abro’s.

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