A Chairman or A Member of the Zakat Committee is in the Service of Pakistan. Hence, He/She is not Eligible to Contest Election Being in the Service of Pakistan.

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A Chairman or A Member of the Zakat Committee is in the Service of Pakistan. Hence, He/She is not Eligible to Contest Election Being in the Service of Pakistan.

In a recent judgment, the Baluchistan High Court came across a case where the respondent was chairman of the local Zakat Committee and he presented his papers to contest the local elections as well. The petitioner objected his nomination paper before the Returning Officer on the ground that being in the service of Pakistan one cannot contest election in accordance with the Baluchistan Local Government Act, 2010. The objection was overruled. An appeal was fined before the Appellate Tribunal but it was also dismissed.

The petitioner, being dissatisfied and disappointed with the orders of both the forums,ย  approached the BHC and averred that the respondent is chairman of the local Zakat Committee which is controlled by the Government. Thus, he falls in the service of Pakistan. Section 24(1) (f) of the 2010 Act states that a person who is in the service of Pakistan is not eligible to contest election as he holds a public office. Being a public office holder, one cannot contest election.

The Court analysed the 2010 Act and concluded that the Zakat Committee a statutory body which is controlled by the Provincial Government, thus, a chairman or a memberย  of the said Committee shall fall in the category of being in the service of Pakistan. Therefore, a chairman or a member of the said Committee does not qualify to be a candidate for contesting an election under the Act. The Petition was allowed and the respondent was declared as being debarred from contesting election under the Act. The judgment also states that a person who is obligated to distribute charitable amounts among the general public, like the respondent does the Zakat amount in the case at hand, he might influence the opinion or judgment of the public in the election to elect him if he is allowed to contest election.

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P L D 2023 Balochistan 113

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