SC declares submission of affidavit mandatory along nomination papers
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday declared mandatory the submission of an affidavit along with nomination papers and ordered Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to prepare content of affidavit for candidates of the general elections.
A five-member bench, presided by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the petition filed by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. The larger bench then ordered ECP to prepare content of affidavit so that the candidates of general elections can fill their information in three days.
During the hearing, the chief justice questioned that why is the speaker [Sadiq] hesitant about representatives of the public disclosing their information?”
The petitioner’s lawyer then responded that Sadiq did not want to keep any information, to which Justice Nisar replied, “what is the fuss all about that to disclose the children’s and their foreign assets, bank and other details?”
The chief justice remarked that the Lahore High Court’s verdict could be upheld.
He noted that according to the Article 218 of the Constitution of Pakistan, conducting the elections was the responsibility of ECP. “Any issue pertaining to the electoral nomination papers is also covered by Article 218.”
“Why are the powers of ECP being reduced,” Nisar said, adding that the apex court will uphold the LHC’s decision.
Earlier on Saturday, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had announced his decision to challenge LHC’s verdict. He had maintained the stance that all the parties in the parliament had approved the Elections Act 2017 and any changes to the nomination forms could delay the elections.
The Lahore High Court (LHC), on June 1, had ruled that nomination forms of the electoral candidates did not seek necessary information and declarations such as details on educational background, criminal record, and dual citizenship. The court had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to again add the requirements of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution to the nomination papers.
The Supreme Court, however, on June 3 had suspended LHC’s verdict that nullified nomination forms of electoral candidates for the upcoming general elections.