Top court moved against SHC verdict allowing Bilawal to contest general election

Maryam Nawaz

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a press conference on October 7, 2023. — AFP/File
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a press conference on October 7, 2023. — AFP/File 
  • Bilawal contesting polls as member of another party: petitioner.
  • Claims no evidence about the alliance between PPP and PPP-P.  
  • SHC had dismissed his petition seeking Bilawal's disqualification.   

ISLAMABAD: Hours before the elections 2024 in the country, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the January 23 verdict of the Sindh High Court (SHC) allowing PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to contest the election on the symbol “arrow”, an electoral symbol allotted to Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P).

Last month, Shah Mohammad Zaman, the petitioner, moved the SHC seeking disqualification of Bilawal for allegedly concealing facts by way of misrepresentation and contesting the Pakistan election on the symbol of the “arrow” of the party that was in fact led by his father Asif Ali Zardari.

He had submitted in the petition that Bilawal was chairman of the PPP with the allotted election symbol of sword while he contested elections in 2018 from the National Assembly constituency NA-200 from the platform of PPP-P with the allotted symbol of arrow, which was illegal.

In his fresh petition in the top court, the petitioner argued that as per the Elections Act, 2017 section 203, a person shall not be a member of more than one political party at a time.

The plaintiff argued that Bilawal did not suspend his membership nor resigned from the chairman of the PPP till to date and contesting the Pakistan election being the nominated candidate of another political party, adding that it was a clear violation of section 203 of the Elections Act, 2017.

“In the Impugned Judgment no any interpretation of the sections 66, 203 and 205 of the “The Elections Act, 2017” treated by the High Court of Sindh, Circuit Court at Larkana,” read the petition.

As per Article 10-A of the Constitution, the “due process” of law is a fundamental right of every citizen of Pakistan including the respondents, it added.

The petitioner argued that Bilawal and the Election Commission of Pakistan have failed to produce any documentary evidence regarding any alliance of both political parties as per the Election Act.

“[…] no any such “Alliance” or “Combination of both political parties” is dully registered before the respondent No. 2 [ECP], as per annexure A/1 only one “Alliance” named as Grand Democratic Alliance is dully registered before the respondentNo.2.”

The complainant pleaded with the apex court to approve his petition against the January 23 order issued by the SHC.