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Pakistan Supreme Court returns Imran Khan’s plea challenging rejection of his nomination papers for February 8 polls


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court has returned jailed former prime minister Imran Khan‘s petition challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for two National Assembly seats in Punjab province for the February 8 polls, directing the removal of deficiencies in the petitions, according to a media report on Thursday. The nomination papers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supremo were rejected last month for two National Assembly constituencies in Lahore and Mianwali districts of the province on “moral grounds and being convicted in the Toshakhana (national treasury gifts) corruption case.”
In the Toshakhana corruption case, the jailed PTI founder was accused of retaining expensive state gifts they received during his tenure as Pakistan’s premier.
The 71-year-old former-cricketer-turned-politician on Wednesday filed a petition, urging the Supreme Court to declare him eligible to contest the elections from the two constituencies.
Later in the day, the apex court offices returned Khan’s plea with a direction to remove the deficiencies in the petitions and resubmit them within a fortnight, the Dawn newspaper reported.
General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan in a week, on February 8.
Returning the petitions, the court office said that “the case description was improper, the petitions lack mentioning of actual controversies, chronology of litigations, findings recorded by the forums and the questions requiring consideration by the Supreme Court,” the report said.
Khan’s petition contended that for a person to be disqualified under Article 63 (1)(H), a moral crime must also be committed; the petition said that the conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case was not on moral grounds.
“The decisions of the returning officer, Election Tribunal and high court should be declared null and void,” the plea said.
The former prime minister had filed a petition at the Lahore High Court (LHC) earlier this month against the rejection of the papers, which the court turned down, upholding the decisions of the returning officer (RO) and appellate tribunal.
An accountability court sentenced Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment in a corruption case on Wednesday, dealing another blow to Khan a day after being handed a 10-year jail term for leaking sensitive state secrets.
Khan and his wife were also barred from holding any public office for ten years and slapped with a fine of Rs 787 million each.
On Tuesday, Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years in prison by a special court for leaking sensitive state secrets. Khan is already serving a three-year jail term after being convicted of corruption.

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