Parvez Elahi among three PTI leaders allowed to contest Feb 8 polls 


ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) received significant relief from the highest court on Friday, with three of its candidates, including imprisoned party president Parvez Elahi, granted permission to participate in the upcoming February 8 elections.

The Supreme Court granted appeals filed by PTI candidates Umer Aslam, Major (retd) Tahir Sadiq, and Elahi against the decisions of returning officers to reject their nomination papers from various constituencies.

Elahi has been permitted to contest the general election from the PP-32 constituency in Gujarat district.

The former Punjab chief minister approached the Supreme Court to challenge the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision upholding the Election Tribunal’s rejection of his nomination papers.

Elahi, currently held in Adiala Jail, filed a petition under Article 185(3) of the Constitution seeking leave to appeal against the LHC’s verdict on January 13, 2024.

His nomination papers were earlier rejected from National Assembly constituency NA-64 (Gujrat-III) and Punjab Assembly constituency PP-34 (Gujrat-VIII).

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, and Justice Athar Minallah, heard Elahi’s plea, with Advocate Faisal Siddiqui representing him.

Highlighting anomalies in objections raised by rival candidates and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Elahi’s counsel urged the court to allow his client to contest the upcoming elections in Gujarat without delay.

Justice Minallah emphasized that voters should not be deprived of their right to vote and expressed concern over obstacles to the election process.

After considering the arguments, the apex court declared the rejection of Elahi’s nomination papers from PP-32 invalid and permitted him to contest the polls from the Gujarat provincial assembly seat.

Elahi withdrew appeals against the rejection of nomination papers from other constituencies, including two NA seats.

Various objections were raised against Elahi’s nomination papers, alleging concealing of assets, non-disclosure of shares, non-compliance with banking rules, technical errors, and document submission without verification.

Initially arrested on June 1 last year in a corruption case related to embezzlement of development funds, Elahi has faced multiple arrests since then, including in cases of money laundering and alleged illegal appointments.

Besides Elahi, PTI candidates Tahir Sadiq and Umer Aslam Awan were also granted permission by the apex court to contest elections from NA-49 (Attock) and NA-87 (Khushab) constituencies, respectively.

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