ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted for hearing a review petition seeking disqualification of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for allegedly submitting a false declaration while submitting his qualification papers for the 2013 election.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Azmat Saeed, has sent a notice to Shah to appear before the court in the case.
Petitioner Roshan Ali Buriro’s lawyer Hamid Khan argued that Shah while submitting his qualification papers for the 2013 election, gave a false declaration and concealed his iqama and foreign nationality of Canada.
In January, the Supreme Court discarded an application seeking Shah’s disqualification on the grounds that the petitioner had failed to produce enough arguments to satisfy the court.
At the time, Justice Umer Ata Bandial had pointed out that the Sindh chief minister had renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2013, therefore, he could not be disqualified on those grounds.
The bench had further noted that the petitioner’s intent was questionable as he was a political rival of the PPP stalwart. “The prima facie [grounds for] disqualification is not clear in this case,” Justice Bandial had said at the time.
“Shah did not submit any paperwork showing that he had given up his Canadian nationality and the court disqualified him on this basis,” the lawyer told the court during today’s maintainability hearing.
During the hearing, Justice Bandial pointed out that a court declaration regarding Article 62 is required in the matter. Upon this, Justice Saeed said that a court order suffices as a court declaration.
“Every electoral candidate provides a declaration to the returning officer and Article 62(1)(f) of the constitution applies to any declarations that are not based on the truth,” Justice Saeed said, accepting the review petition.
Earlier, Buriro had filed a similar appeal with a returning officer in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP); but it was turned down.