LAHORE: Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of Lahore High Court sought arguments on the point whether the citizens who do not have national tax numbers could contest election for national or provincial assembly.
The judge also demanded a list of tax defaulters from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The judge also ordered to hold day-to-day proceedings on a constitutional petition seeking strict implementation of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Advocate Munir Ahmad moved the petition. The petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique submitted that hundreds of candidates filing their nomination papers did not fulfil the criteria laid down in the Article 62 and 63. He said it was a constitutional requirement that only candidates fulfilling the criteria could contest the election.
He said many politicians are tax defaulters while various had never paid tax but they had filed their nomination papers for May 11 elections. He said that a person who had never paid tax could not participate in the elections.
He also pointed out that 4,000 contestants did not even have National Tax Number (NTN) while 70% parliamentarians had never paid tax. He submitted that the ECP had not yet formed any procedure to reject the nomination paper of such aspirants. Representing the federal government, a standing counsel told the court that Article 62 could be applied on such contestants.
The ECP’s counsel sought more time to file reply. The petitioner’s counsel said that to implement the constitutional provision was essential to ensure election of true representatives. He requested to issue directions to ECP to perform its functions as required under Article 218(3) of the constitution to conduct the forthcoming elections honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law and also to guard against corrupt practices.
He also requested to direct the ECP to strictly implement the Article 62 and 63 of the constitution while scrutinizing the nomination papers filed by the candidates.