Tribunal summons officer of Punjab House for Feb 23 on Pervaiz Rasheed’s appeal

LAHORE:An appellate election tribunal of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday summoned a senior officer of Punjab House along with record for February 23 (Tuesday) on an appeal filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Pervaiz Rasheed against rejection of his nomination papers for the Senate elections by the returning officer.

The tribunal comprising Justice Shahid Waheed heard the appeal filed by the PML-N leader.

Pervaiz Rasheed along with his counsel appeared before the tribunal at the start of the proceedings.

Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar argued on behalf of Pervaiz Rasheed that the returning officer had rejected nomination papers of his client for Senate elections over being Rs 9.5 million defaulter of Punjab House. He submitted that his client attempted to deposit the amount during scrutiny but to no avail. He submitted that the appellant also moved an application for payment of the dues to the returning officer but the same was dismissed.

At this, Justice Shahid Waheed addressed Azam Nazir Tarar and questioned that under what law, the application was filed with the returning officer.

To which, the counsel replied that under Section 112 of the Election Act, the application was filed with the returning officer for payment of the dues.

However, Justice Shahid Waheed questioned whether the returning officer could issue directions to an institution for receiving the amount, adding that the returning officer was not a court. He further questioned what was the last date for submitting the government dues.

To this, Azam Nazir Tarar argued that the dues could be deposited before the election date as per Supreme Court judgments. He submitted that the appellant filed applications for payment of the dues to Secretary C&W, returning officer and others to show good intention during scrutiny but his client was not permitted to deposit the dues.

But, the court observed that the appellant should have deposited the amount in the bank but he never went to the bank for the purpose.

Azam submitted that no bank account number was provided for the purpose, adding that the returning officer was assured payment of dues through cross cheque but the stance was not admitted.

The tribunal observed that it was not denied in the appeal that the room of Punjab House had not remained under the use of the appellant, adding that the appellant should have deposited the dues when he left the room.

Azam Tarar argued that the Punjab House could have issued notices to Pervaiz Rasheed for payment of the dues through the Senate chairman.

Justice Shahid Waheed questioned the counsel whether he could show that the room was not under use of Pervaiz Rasheed from 2011 to 2018.

But Azam Nazir Tarar argued that Pervaiz Rasheed could not be expelled from the election race over non-payment of the dues. He submitted that no court had declared Pervaiz Rasheed as defaulter of Punjab House yet and if Pervaiz Rasheed won the case in the court then no remedy would be available to him for not contesting the election. He pleaded with the tribunal to issue directions for payment of dues and acceptance of nomination papers.

Subsequently, the court issued notices to respondents for February 23 and summoned a senior officer of Punjab House along with record.