Islamabad, Jan 26 (PTI) In a relief to the jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed its president Parvez Elahi, and some other senior leaders to contest the February 8 general elections.
A three-member bench heard Elahi’s appeal against the rejection of his candidature by the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the election tribunal.
The apex court also allowed other PTI leaders, Umar Aslam, Tahir Sadiq, Sanam Javed, and Shaukat Basra to contest the upcoming general elections.
The beleaguered Khan and his PTI have suffered blow after blow ahead of the polls with the election commission snatching away its iconic cricket bat symbol and rejecting nomination papers of 71-year-old Khan and several top leaders on multiple grounds.
The panel, after hearing the arguments, declared the decision to reject Elahi’s nomination papers null and void and allowed him to contest the elections from a constituency of the Punjab assembly in his home province (PP-32).
The court also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to allot Elahi an election symbol and have it included in the ballot papers.
Elahi, a former two-time chief minister of Punjab, had filed his candidature for the general elections but the same was rejected by the returning officers. He challenged it in the election tribunal, which rejected his plea.
Later, he filed a petition against it in the LHC, which too rejected his plea, prompting him to approach the Supreme Court.
Earlier, he filed two separate petitions in the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the rejection of his candidacy for the NA-64, a national assembly seat, and the PP-32.
However, he later on withdrew his plea to contest the seat of national assembly, his lawyer Faisal Siddique told the media. “We decided to contest [the elections] on only one seat owing to less time at hand,” he said.
Meanwhile, the three-member bench, headed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, hearing separate pleas of Tahir and Alam allowed them to contest elections for the National Assembly.
While another bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, allowed Basra and Sanam to contest the polls. PTI SH NPK AKJ NPK NPK