The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday received a complaint against former prime minister Imran Khan, former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar and others for engaging in corrupt practices, bribery and for selling the party tickets for Punjab Assembly elections.
The development comes after an audio recording surfaced on Saturday in which Nisar's son Najam Saqib could be heard talking to two other people about taking not less than “120” in exchange for a ticket.
Earlier in the day, Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf constituted a special committee to investigate the alleged audio leak.
The complaint was filed by Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan and Atta Tarar, both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, before the ECP.
According to the complaint, Imran Khan and other members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were involved in the sale of tickets for the Punjab Assembly elections. The complaint alleges that the accused violated the code of conduct of the electoral body.
The accused include Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, Saqib Nisar, Najam Saqib, Abuzar Chaudhary, Mian Uzair, Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhary, and Asad Umar.
The complainants are seeking the intervention of the ECP against what they describe as "the blatant and outright violations of the law and the Constitution".
"Under Article 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, imposes the disqualification of members from the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), or from contesting to be a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora, if one is found involved in corruption, bribery and moral turpitude. The Accused have very blatantly and with impunity committed acts of great moral turpitude, which involves both bribery and corruption," it stated.
The reference said that it is within the mandate of the ECP to disqualify them from contesting elections as candidates based on these grounds.
"It is gravely disappointing to witness the state of affairs in the current political arena, wherein one political party has broken all canons of democracy, propriety and legality," it added.
The complaint said that the party has openly engaged in corrupting the sacred stream of politics. "It is with great concern that this complaint seeks the intervention of the Election Commission of Pakistan (“ECP”) against the blatant and outright violations of the law and the Constitution, including the Constitution, the Elections Act, 2017, and Code of Conduct, by the following persons, including multiple candidates for the upcoming elections."
It stated that the recent audio leaks reveal that the accused have been directly involved in bribery, corruption, and intimidation with regards to matters pertaining to the award of tickets to contest the elections.
The complaint said that the audio clips between Najam Saqib and Mian Uzair reveal that they are discussing the award of the party ticket to Abuzar Chadhar, an aspirant from PP-137. "Mr Najam Saqib very openly suggests taking 'not less than 120' for the 'delivery of the goods'. The conversation is immediately followed by the three accused, namely Mr Najam Saqib, Mr Abuzar Chadhar, and Mr Mian Uzair meeting up at Mr Najam’s office after submission of the ticket."
It added that it is clear from the contents that the two are conversing about buying/bribing their way into successfully obtaining a party ticket for Abuzar.
The complainants urged the ECP to suspend the tickets awarded by the PTI to its candidates for general elections to the Provincial Assembly of Punjab.
They also requested the electoral body to suspend Imran Khan as the chairman of PTI.