LAHORE - The election commission, Federal Board of Revenue, National Accountability Bureau, chiefs of Punjab Police and Federal Investigation Agency were issued notice for last week of February by the Lahore High Court on Monday, on a petition questioning the eligibility criteria for candidates in local bodies elections.
Munir Ahmed, the petitioner, requested the court to summon the record about candidates, both qualified and disqualified, for local bodies elections with details of income tax, sales tax, agricultural tax, customs duties, professional tax and academic credentials as returning officers had failed to obtain these details and papers of candidates deserved to be disqualified stood qualified.
He said the election commission and the Punjab government had failed to fulfill these requirements; therefore the court should summon IGP, FIA DG, NAB Chairman and FBR and to ensure that no tax defaulter, fake degree holder or one having criminal record could take part in elections.
The petitioner also asked the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to make sure that the Article 62, which outlines the qualifications a candidate standing for election to Parliament must have, and the Article 63, which outlines possible reasons for disqualifying a candidate, are applied to local election candidates.
The petitioner also asked the court to direct the federal government to explain what instructions, if any, had been relayed to returning officers for determining a candidate’s viability. In particular, he said, it should say whether fake degrees holders, loan defaulters, tax evaders and dual nationals would be barred from contesting polls.
He said the Article 62 required a candidate to be one who is not commonly known to violate Islamic injunctions, who has knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices, abstains from major sins, and is sagacious, righteous and honest.