The Supreme Court has observed that submission of an affidavit along with nomination papers is mandatory for candidates in upcoming general elections.
It was declared by a five member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.
The bench heard a case pertaining to changes in nomination papers. It ordered Election Commission to prepare the specimen of the affidavit and present before the court.
The existing nomination papers will stay in place and the affidavit to be submitted by the candidates will carry the additional information, the bench observed.
Candidates will be bound to provide the information to Returning Officers within three days. Action will be taken in case of a fake declaration, the CJP observed.
“Why Ayaz Sadiq feels shame over providing information to public? The voters should know what kind of their leaders are,” said Justice Azmat Saeed, a member of the bench.
The Chief Justice reiterated that the general elections will not be delayed and will be held as per the schedule on July 25.
The Supreme Court was hearing applications by the Election Commission of Pakistan and outgoing National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq against an order by the Lahore High Court.
The LHC had declared void the new nomination forms which did not contain important information about candidates i.e. education, occupation, business, dual nationality, NTN number, income tax returns, criminal record, assets and liabilities, election expenses and loans or dues.
The high court ordered ECP to revise the forms and include questions about the information.
The declarations were part of the 2013 nomination forms, but were later changed by the Parliament through Elections Act 2017.
The very next day, Supreme Court suspended Lahore High Court’s decision and upheld the fresh nomination papers.