Imran Khan challenges rejection of his nomination papers for Feb 8 polls

Imran Khan challenges rejection of nomination papers, seeks SC intervention
Imran Khan
Imran Khan

Islamabad | Pakistan's jailed former prime minster Imran Khan on Wednesday filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for two National Assembly seats in Punjab province for the February 8 polls.

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.” The 71-year-old former-cricketer-turned-politician 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.

In his plea, Khan urged the apex court to declare him eligible to contest the elections from the two constituencies, Geo News reported.

"The notification of disqualification under Article 63 (1)(h) is ineligible," the report cited the plea.

Contending 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.

Earlier in the day, an accountability court sentenced the former prime minister and his wife, Bushra Bibi, to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment in a corruption case, dealing another blow to Khan a day after being handed a 10-year jail term for leaking sensitive state secrets.

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.

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.

General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan on February 8

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