ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Balochistan President Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind on Thursday took a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court set aside the judgment of Balochistan High Court and allowed him to contest the elections.

The top court also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to allot a symbol to Rind, who will contest the elections for NA-206 and PB-17. The top court also issued a notice to the respondents in the case.

Three days ago, the BHC had upheld an election appellate tribunal’s decision disqualifying Rind from contesting the general polls from N-260 and PB-17. Returning Officer (RO) had rejected the nomination papers on account of discrepancy in academic qualification and he being nominated in several First Information Reports (FIRs) in murder and kidnapping cases.

Announcing the verdict a divisional bench of the BHC comprising Justice Naeem Akhtar Afgan and Justice Nazeer Langove upheld the RO and tribunal’s decisions that had rendered him disqualified.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the appeal for hearing. 

Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa on behalf of Rind appeared before the top court and argued that high court had rejected his nomination papers for submitting a ‘fake’ degree during general polls of 2008.

He explained the reason for discrepancy stating that the degree of Madrassah, which was submitted in 2008 but later on the degree was not verifiable by Higher Education Commission (HEC).

He further added due that his client mentioned the intermediate degree in the nomination papers for upcoming elections.  

Khosa further contended that his client was nominated in FIRs but these FIRs had never been prosecuted nor his client was convicted and the trial on these FIRs had never been initiated.

Khosa further stated that high court had not taken these facts into account and passed the judgement. The top court while setting aside the judgment of BHC allowed Rind to contest the elections.

Meanwhile, the same bench disqualified Chaudhry Ramzan, brother of PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar, from contesting elections on account of submitting a false affidavit in connection with his dual nationality. Ramzan had applied for contesting the elections from PP-120 Toba Taik Singh.

The top court observed that Ramzan’s British nationality was not renounced at the time of submitting nomination papers. The top court SC has also hinted for initiation of contempt of court proceedings under article 204 against Chauhdary Ramzan on submitting a fake affidavit.