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Wednesday Jun 13 2018

SC dismisses petition seeking Sheikh Rasheed's disqualification

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

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 had reserved the verdict on March 20, 2018.

Speaking to the media outside the apex court, Rasheed thanked God for bestowing him with respect. 

"I have done nothing wrong and never hid any of my assets," he said. "God is great, He has bestowed me with respect yet again." 

In a jibe at the PML-N supremo, the AML chief said he would have accepted the verdict even if it was not in his favour because he was not Nawaz Sharif.

Rasheed had further claimed he had done nothing wrong and never hid his assets.

The petitioner remarked that his case was in the Election Tribunal for 18 months. "The verdict on my case was reserved for 84 days," Awan said.

The PML-N leader, however, told journalists that he trusted the judiciary and would continue to knock the doors of courts to seek justice.

Rasheed had reached the premises of the Supreme Court early morning and said he would accept SC's verdict even if it was not in his favour.  

"I hope that the verdict will be in my favour, but whatever the decision, I will accept it," he had told journalists. In response to a question if he would be 'sacrificed before Eid,' Rasheed said even God knew it was not the month of sacrifices. 

During the 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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