Imran Khan’s Election Bid Stalled as Supreme Court Returns Plea Challenging Rejection of His Nomination Papers

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court has instructed former Prime Minister Imran Khan to address deficiencies in his nomination papers for two National Assembly seats in Punjab province. The rejection of Khan’s papers last month, citing “moral grounds” and a conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case, led him to file a petition on Wednesday seeking eligibility for the February 8 polls.

The apex court returned Khan’s plea, highlighting improper case description and missing details on controversies, litigations, findings, and questions for consideration. The court directed him to rectify these issues and resubmit the petition within two weeks.

Khan argued that the Toshakhana case conviction did not involve moral grounds, asserting that disqualification under Article 63 (1)(H) requires a moral crime. He urged the court to nullify decisions by the returning officer, Election Tribunal, and high court.

This development comes a week before the general elections in Pakistan. Earlier attempts by Khan to challenge the rejection of his nomination papers at the Lahore High Court were unsuccessful.

In a separate setback, an accountability court sentenced Khan and his wife to 14 years in prison in a corruption case, with a ten-year ban on holding public office and substantial fines. This follows a previous 10-year jail term for leaking sensitive state secrets. Khan is already serving a three-year sentence for corruption.

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