PML-N’s Pervaiz Rashid declared ‘ineligible’ for Senate polls

LAHORE: An election tribunal of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has turned down the appeal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Pervaiz Rashid against the rejection of his nomination papers for Senate election.

Justice Shahid Waheed issued the verdict after the arguments in the case had finished. During today’s hearing, Rashid’s lawyer said that the RO had rejected his client’s papers saying that the former information minister was a defaulter of the Punjab House.

The lawyer said Rashid did not receive any prior notice for paying off his dues. “Pervez Rashid has contested the Senate election before as well. No one raised the issue of pending dues then,” argued Rashid’s legal team.

The objector, in his arguments, said that Rashid knew that he had to pay outstanding dues but did not submit any payment. “If Pervez Rashid did not stay at the Punjab House, why is he ready to pay off the dues?” asked the objector.  After hearing both sides’ arguments, the tribunal turned down Rashid’s appeal.

Talking to journalists following the verdict, he said his lawyers had suggested him for filing an appeal against the decision but he was not convinced to file it.

“Lawyers say it can be appealed, but I am not convinced. I may not move to seek justice for myself,” he said, adding that he was expecting the tribunal to direct him to pay the dues in today’s verdict rather than his disqualification.

The PML-N leader claimed that Punjab House management refused to take payment from him once he went there to pay the dues. Last week, the PML-N leader challenged the ECP’s decision to reject his nomination papers for the upcoming Senate election.

In his appeal, Rashid stated that the returning officer of the ECP “unlawfully rejected the nomination papers,” adding that he was ready to deposit Rs9.5 million to the administration of the Punjab House.

The Punjab government had released a list of people in 2018 who had not cleared their bills for staying and taking meals at the Punjab House. Rashid was among those who were named in the list.

As per the list, Rashid owed a sum of Rs7.05 million of which Rs0.69 million was owed for his stay in 2011 from January to August and Rs6.4 million for his stay between June 2013 and May 2018.