CJ IHC Athar Minallah terms ECP’s disqualification of PTI leaders Umar Amin Gandapur, Shah Muhammad Wazir ‘unlawful’
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah on Friday declared unlawful the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision to disqualify Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Umar Amin Gandapur and Shah Muhammad Khan for violating the election code of conduct issued for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa local body polls. The court has issued short order of the both cases and detailed order will be released later on.
Umar Amin Khan Gandapur, brother of Federal Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, was declared eligible to contest the mayoral election from Dera Ismail Khan.
The court further maintained that the former K-P minister for transport Shah Muhammad Wazir was also eligible to partake in the elections.
However, the court stated that the disqualification of PTI candidate Mamoon Rasheed from Baka Khel will remain in place. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued a summary judgment.
The IHC said that the ECP order would remain in the field as far as Ali Amin Gandapur is concerned.
On Tuesday, Umar had moved the IHC to declare the ECP’s decision “null and void” claiming it was made without the summary inquiry and therefore, violated the code of conduct.
In the verdict, the Chief Election Commission (CEC) Dr. Sikandar Sultan Raja had ruled that PTI candidate Umar Amin has been disqualified from contesting polls for the city’s mayor seat.
Earlier, the CEC had said that this case would be made an example so that the election laws are strictly followed by all the contestants.
Justice Athar Minallah while hearing Shah Muhammad Khan’s plea had maintained that a minister picking up a ballot box during elections was a violation.
“The entire political party is responsible for such a serious violation,” Justice Minallah said, adding that such allegations were not trivial.
However, Shah Muhammad Khan’s lawyer stated that the allegations against him were made by the opposing candidate and were false.
He claimed that the petitioner, Mohabbat Khan, was not present at the site of the incident, but lodged a complaint nonetheless, adding that he was a member of the opposition party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI).
“What happened at the election was not the work of local people. The area borders Afghanistan, where JUI has a stronghold,” the lawyer said, further alleging that “no one was speaking of those who brought the Taliban into the election from the other side of the border”.
The CJ asked if the opposite side was taking their names too, to which the lawyer stated that even they were not naming them.
Last week, the ECP had disqualified Shah Muhammad Khan for five years because he was found guilty of attacking a polling station, snatching election material and causing unrest in Bakka Khel, Bannu district of K-P during the first phase of local government polls in the province.