SC dismisses petition seeking Sheikh Rasheed’s disqualification | Pakistan

Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed pictured outside the Supreme Court premises on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Photo: Geo News screen grab 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking disqualification of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed on Wednesday.

The petition, filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Shakeel Awan, who lost the 2013 general election to Rasheed, claimed that the AML chief mis-declared his assets in his nomination papers and owned the error as well.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah presided over the case.

After the verdict — reserved on March 20, 2018 — was announced by the apex court, Rasheed thanked God for the verdict. 

“I have done nothing wrong and never hid any of my assets,” he said. “God is great; today, He bestowed me with respect again.” 

Rasheed had reached the premises of the apex court early morning and said that he would accept SC’s verdict. 

“I hope that the verdict will be in my favour, but whatever the decision, I will accept it,” he had told the journalists. 

In response of a question if he would be ‘sacrificed before Eid,’ Rasheed said even God knew it was not the month of sacrifices. 

During hearing of the petition, Awan’s counsel had argued before the three-member bench that according to the Representation of People’s Act, it was necessary to accurately declare all of one’s assets before contesting elections.

He had asserted that the most recent court case regarding the wrong filling of nomination papers was the 2017 Panama Papers judgment by the apex court.

Rasheed’s counsel, on the other hand, had contended that his client did not conceal anything and accepted that his client had owned the mistake in valuing his assets.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, during the earlier hearing, had remarked that according to the petitioner, whatever the error was, the lawmaker should be disqualified.

The question was whether a lawmaker stood disqualified if it was proved that he or she had committed an error while filling out the nomination papers or his/her assets, Justice Saeed had observed.

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