ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the order of Lahore High Court and allowed former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to contest elections from NA-57 Rawalpindi.

A tow-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard a petition of Masood Ahmed Abbasi, who had challenged the approval of Abbasi’s nomination papers from NA-57.

The petitioner had contended that the former prime minister had misstated facts in his nomination papers.

Masood had requested the top court to declare the LHC’s decision, which had dismissed the tribunal’s order against Abbasi and allowed him to contest the elections. During the hearing, the chief justice asked the petitioner’s counsel if his client was an election candidate against Abbasi in the constituency.

The counsel responded in the negation and said that his client was a voter in the constituency. To this, the chief justice asked the locus standi of the petitioner in the case.

Justice Ahsan questioned where was the evidence to substantiate that the former prime minister had concealed facts. The counsel contended that Abbasi had tampered with the record.

The bench also observed that the petitioner remained unable to state where Abbasi misstated the facts. The bench also observed that properties listed in income tax returns of Abbasi were also listed in the nomination papers.

The bench then dismissed the petition while upholding the decision of LHC.

Meanwhile, nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry were challenged in the top court. 

In June, a division of the LHC suspended a decision of an election tribunal, disqualifying Chaudhry, and allowed him to contest the general election from NA-67 (Jhelum). The tribunal comprising Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi had disqualified Chaudhry under Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution on an appeal moved by Syed Fakhar Haider.

However, Chaudhry had challenged it before the high court which had suspended the order of tribunal and allowed him to contest elections.

Haider in his instant petition filed in the top court contended that Chaudhary in his nomination papers stated that he was a legal practiioner and on the other hand, he had also mentioned his salary.

He further contended that Chaudhary had not written his name in the petition correctly and also concealed the business matters of his wife.

Haider’s petition contended that the LHC had not properly appreciated the proposition raised in the decision of appellate tribune.

He contended that the Chaudhary had filed a false affidavit before the returning officer and intentionally concealed his travel history in which an amount of Rs32,50,000 incurred and such details were not mentioned in his income tax returns.

“Whether the respondent No1 (Chaudhry), while filing the nomination papers and supported by an affidavit, has mentioned that he was an advocate whereas in his tax return for the year 2015-2016-2017 has mentioned a salaried person and drawing income from Association of Persons (AOP)?” the petition questioned.