SEP 14, 2018: The Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued its detailed verdict on barring former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from contesting elections from his native NA-57 (Murree) constituency in the July 25 polls, ruling that the former prime minister was not honest and sagacious and hence disqualified for life.
The judgement declared Abbasi “guilty of concealment of facts and withholding of complete information from his voters.”
According to the judgement, Abbasi “is not an honest and ameen person” and thus “not a qualified person to be elected or chosen as a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) within the meaning of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.”
The 10-page verdict released on Friday on appeal filed against Abbasi, and penned by Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi, said Abbasi had “exposed himself to the disqualification clause as provided in Articles 62 and 63 of The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.
Abbasi has been declared guilty of concealment of facts for not providing “the correct details and description of the immovable property held by him within Pakistan” and for “intentionally and knowingly understating the costs of the assets”.
Finding him guilty of the charges, Justice Lodhi said Abbasi had exposed himself to the disqualification clause as provided in Articles 62 and 63 of The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and is not a qualified person to be elected or chosen as a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”
The Judge regretted that Abbasi “has been a Leader of House and thus, as prime minister, was considered to be the face of the nation.”
“The nation needs its face to be clean and clear in order to earn some respect from [the] remaining world, which is not possible if such rusty faces are allowed to represent the nation,” he regretted, adding that nations “expect high moral standards from their leaders by placing them at somewhat higher pedestal and giving a place of a role model to a leader.”
On June 23, Justice Lodhi had suspended the Returning Officer (RO) for NA-57 (Murree) Haider Ali Khan for accepting incomplete nomination forms submitted by Mr Abbasi.
In Friday’s verdict, the judge stated that the suspension would continue, and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint a new RO for NA-57, where by-elections are to be held in October.
The LHC Registrar was also directed to initiate proceedings against Haider Ali Khan for misconduct.