The election tribunal of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday dismissed an appeal challenging the acceptance of nomination papers of Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda of the PTI for a Senate seat from Sindh.
In its judgement, the tribunal dismissed all objections raised by the appellant, Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhel. It said that the tribunal was constituted to examine the objections against the order of returning officer (RO), who had earlier accepted Vawda’s nomination papers.
“The plea assailing the denial of consideration of matters not within RO’s jurisdiction cannot be sustained by this tribunal,” the judgement stated.
Mandokhel had filed the election appeal on Saturday, stating that Vawda’s nomination form should not have been entertained since he was still a sitting MNA (member of the National Assembly) and a federal minister while an earlier complaint against Vawda was still pending before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), besides a petition before the Islamabad High Court for not disclosing his US nationality in the nomination papers filed during the general elections in 2018.
Advocate Mandokhel, who had contested the 2018 election on a PPP ticket from NA-249 Karachi against Vawda, filed the appeal against the ECP’s Feb 18 order to accept the nomination papers of the federal minister for the March 3 Senate election.
Citing the provincial election commission, the returning officer of the ECP and Vawda as respondents, the appellant argued that a sitting MNA or federal minister cannot apply or file a nomination form for the Senate election unless he filed an application to give up his National Assembly seat and ministerial responsibilities.
He further contended that matters were pending before the ECP and IHC against the minister for not being “Sadiq and Ameen” as mentioned in Article 62 of the Constitution since he concealed his dual nationality in his nomination papers filed in 2018.
The appellant further argued that Vawda, in his nomination papers, filed for the Senate election mentioned that he had been a citizen of the United States and had given up his nationality in 2018. However, he said, he failed to reveal the date of application to surrender the nationality while in his nomination papers in 2018, he said the relevant section was not applicable to him.
He contended that there were also clear discrepancies in the details of the loan and money, which he mentioned in the nomination papers of the general elections in 2018 and in the nomination papers for the Senate polls.
The appellant argued that the impugned order had been passed by the returning officer of the ECP in a hasty manner without considering the objections of the appellant and it was silent on the objections raised before him.