The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Wednesday dismissed an application seeking disqualification of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on the basis of dual nationality and Iqama, a residence permit issued to expatriates on employment visa which allows an easy access to the Gulf states.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial headed a three-member bench of the apex court to resume the hearing of the case. The court said that a returning officer had dismissed an application seeking disqualification of CM Shah, however, the applicant had not challenged the RO’s decision on any legal platform, and subsequently filed an application in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The apex court further remarked that the IHC was correct as applicant Roshan Ali was Shah’s political rival and indicated mala fide intentions. When lawyer Hamid Khan argued with the court, Justice Muneeb Akhtar replied that despite availability of other legal forums, people have been filing such applications in the SCP.

“Any application which seeks disqualification of a person holding a public office should not indicate any mala fide intention,” Justice Bandial remarked, adding that only on the basis of political rivalry, the application could not be heard.

Lawyer Hamid Khan replied that political rivals also reserve basic and fundamental rights, to which the court responded that the parliament has expanded such an authority which could raise an objection on any member of the assembly.