Supreme Court announces verdict in the ECP petition against LHC decision on nomination forms

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Supreme Court announces verdict in the ECP petition against LHC decision on nomination forms

*LAHORE: **Supreme Court on Sunday suspended a ruling of the Lahore High Court (LHC) with regard to the new nomination forms.*

This order came on petitions filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and former Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq against the June 1 ruling of the LHC in the apex court’s Lahore registry.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar categorically stated that the polls will be held on July 25. “The ECP will be solely responsible if the elections are delayed,” he warned.

The petitioners took the stance that the high court verdict will cause a delay in holding of the general elections and therefore, pleaded with the top court to overturn it.

On Friday, the LHC set aside the new nomination forms, approved by parliament through the Election Act 2017, and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to start the process of issuing nomination forms afresh after improving them with addition of necessary details about candidates who will contest the elections.

Following the recent developments – the LHC verdict and a resolution passed by the Balochistan Assembly seeking delay in the polls – two major political parties, including the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have expressed serious, warning that attempts are being made to delay the elections.

Speaking to journalists a day earlier, Additional Secretary of ECP Akhtar Nazir made it clear that the 2018 polls will be held on the scheduled date, which is July 25.

He said the commission will immediately file appeals against the high court verdicts about nomination papers and annulment of delimitation of constituencies in a number of districts.

The official said that returning officers will not receive nomination papers on June 3 and 4.

The commission had stopped issuance of nomination forms for General Election 2018 after the high court ruling.

The court ruled that nomination form to be submitted by candidates for the upcoming general elections does not include mandatory information and declarations as required from the aspiring lawmakers by the Constitution and law.