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PML-N candidate for NA-154 by-poll disqualified

PML-N candidate for NA-154 by-poll disqualified

MULTAN: A special bench of the Lahore High Court disqualified on Thursday Siddique Khan Baloch, PML-N candidate for NA-154 by-election, for concealing his assets and not paying due taxes.

Iffat Tahira Soomroo, district president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s women wing, challenged the candidature of Mr Baloch.

She is the covering candidate of PTI candidate Jahangir Tareen in the constituency. She had submitted her nomination papers as an independent candidate.

Iffat Soomroo’s counsel Azhar Saleem Kamlana told Dawn that Mr Baloch’s nomination papers were challenged on various grounds, including fake degree, concealing facts regarding his assets and submission of dual party tickets by the PML-N.

He said that his client had earlier raised objections to the acceptance of Mr Baloch’s nomination papers with the returning officer who rejected them.

He said that Mr Baloch had not submitted his income tax statements for one year while he was bound to submit them for three years.

Mr Kamlana said that after studying the statements of two years it was revealed that there was difference in the income of Mr Baloch in two different documents.

“In a statement for a year he has mentioned his income as Rs4.3 million while according to a report of the Federal Board of Revenue his income for that year was Rs1.3m,” he said.

He said that Mr Baloch also did not mention the details of the property he owned in Mauza Somra.

He said that he had informed the court that the Supreme Court did not void the disqualification of Mr Baloch but had set aside the decision of the election tribunal for declaring him disqualified on a personal issue regarding his degree.

He said that as the detailed decision of the Supreme Court was yet to be released, the special bench disqualified Mr Baloch for concealing facts regarding his assets and tax evasion as he paid tax on Rs1.3m income instead of Rs4.3m.

He said that the PML-N ticket had already been awarded to Umair Baloch, the son of Mr Baloch, and the Election Commission had already allotted him the symbol of lion. But now Mr Baloch has submitted another ticket for the same party and symbol.

The ECP has set Dec 23 for by-election. The last date to submit nomination papers was Nov 19 and scrutiny papers were done on Nov 27 while last date for submitting objections was Nov 30.

On August 26 the election tribunal disqualified Mr Baloch and ordered re-election on a petition filed by PTI leader Jahangir Tareen.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2015

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