IN THE HIGH COURT OF SINDH, CIRCUIT COURT, LARKANA
Constitutional Petition No.D-694 of 2022.
Mr. Justice Adnan-ul-Karim Memon,
Mr. Justice Abdul Mobeen Lakho,
Petitioner : Farooq Ali Chandio,
Respondents : Federation of Pakistan, through Chief Election
Commissioner & others.
Mr. Ashfaque Hussain Abro, advocate for the petitioner.
Mr. Mohammad Imran Abbasi, Asst. Attorney General.
Mr. Munawar Ali Abbasi, Asst. Advocate General.
Date of hearing : 19.07.2022.
Date of order : 19.07.2022.
O R D E R
ADNAN-UL-KARIM MEMON, J.-The petitioner filed his nomination form for the seat of General Councilor/Memberin Ward No.3 of Union Council Shah Panjo, Taluka Mehar, District Dadu, which after scrutiny was rejected by the Returning Officer, on the ground that the proposer and seconder of the petitioner were/are registered voters of Ward No.3 of the same union Council, whereas he intends to contest elections from Ward No.4. The petitionerbeing aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the aforesaid decisions, filed appeal vide Election Appeal No.118/2022, which too was dismissed by the District Judge/District Election Tribunal Dadu vide order dated 25.6.2022 on the same analogy.
2. Mr. Ashfaque Hussain Abro learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner, as well as his proposer and seconder, are registered voters of Ward No.3; however, in the nomination form mistakenly Ward No.4 was mentioned, for which the petitioner had timely appeared before the Returning Officer and had requested for rectification of such bonafide error, but he did not consider it. Learned Counsel further contends that the learned District Election Tribunal also refused to grant such permission to the petitioner and dismissed the election appeal. He, therefore, submits that the orders passed by the Returning Officer as well as the District Election Tribunal may be set aside, and by granting permission to the petitioner to make such correction in his nomination form, the same may be accepted and he may be allowed to contest the elections.
3. On the other hand, the learned Asst. Attorney General as well as the learned Asst. A.G., have supported the impugned ordersand prayed that the petition may be dismissed.
4. We have given due consideration to the contentions of learned Counsel for the petitioner as well as the learned Asst. Attorney General and the learned Asst. Advocate General and have perused the material available on record.
5. Section 35 (1) (2) of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, is clear in its terms that a person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of the Council unless he is enrolled as a voter in the Electoral Roll of the concerned Council or Ward, in the present case petitioner claims to be registered voter of Ward No. 3 Union Council ShahPanjo Taluka Mehar District Dadu, however, due to oversight, he disclosed in his nomination papers as Ward No.4 Union Council Shah Panjo (8) Taluka Mehar, and he applied promptly, for such correction in terms of Rule 18(d)(ii) of Sindh Local Government(Election) Rules2015, but his request was turned down on the premise that petitioner submitted nomination form from Ward No. 4 Union Council Shah Panjo Taluka Mehar, as he and his proposer and seconder belonged to Ward No.3 Union Council Shah Panjo (8).
6. Perusal of record prima-facie shows that petitioner in column No.2 of his nomination form disclosed his Ward No. 4 Union Council Shah Panjo (8), however his proposer and seconder belong to Ward No. 3 Union Council Shah Panjo (8), primarily these are disputed points, which requires evidence, and the same is not permissible to look into under Article 199 of the Consitution, therefore at this stage, we are not in a position to declare him disqualified to contest the ensuing election on the reasoning of returning officer and learned District Judge/District Election Tribunal Dadu.
7. The aforesaid arrangement is subject to the final word of the learned Election Tribunal if approached by the aggrieved party after the election process as the present matter is of a summary nature and the said questions raised hereinabove could be finally attended to after the election process is over, before the competent forum.Accordingly, the impugned order is set-aside, and the Returning Officer concerned is directed to accept the nomination papers of the petitioner to contest the subject election, under the law.
8. Instant petition is hereby allowed in the aforesaid terms.