Nomination papers of former Pakistan PM Imran Khan denied on 'moral' grounds: Returning Officer

On December 30, the Election Commission of Pakistan rejected the nomination papers of the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party founder and several of his senior colleagues.

January 01, 2024 01:34 pm | Updated January 04, 2024 06:31 pm IST - Islamabad

Imran Khan. File

Imran Khan. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

“Jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nomination papers for the February 8 general elections were rejected due to his conviction in the offence of “moral turpitude” in a corruption case and other reasons,” the returning officer of the National Assembly seat has said.

On December 30, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected the nomination papers of the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party founder and several of his senior colleagues.

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In an eight-page detailed decision, the Returning Officer (RO) of the National Assembly seat of Lahore (NA-122) quoted the judgement of the additional session judge (Islamabad) that established Imran Khan's conviction in the offence of "moral turpitude," the Dawn newspaper reported on January 1, 2024.

Besides the main reason that Imran Khan was convicted in the Toshakhana corruption case, objections were raised against his nomination papers as the proposer and seconder for the PTI’s founder did not belong to the respective constituencies.

Although the Islamabad High Court suspended Khan's sentence, his five-year disqualification in the Toshakhana case still stands.

The former cricketer-turned-politician's candidature was hit by Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the RO said, adding that the conviction had not been suspended or set aside by any court to date.

“In light of the above, the allegations levelled by the objector, Mian Naseer Ahmad, against the respondent, Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, are legal and substantial in nature and have succeeded in making out a case against the respondent. Consequently, the papers of the respondent from NA-122 stand rejected,” the report said, citing the verdict.

On December 30, the PTI party condemned the top poll body’s rejection of the nomination papers of Khan and several other party stalwarts on what it called “flimsy grounds.” Imran Khan and his senior party colleague and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been facing multiple cases and arrests since the May 9 riots, with both incarcerated at the high-security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

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