The Lahore High Court on Thursday dismissed as ineffective an application against politicians defaulting on payments of utility bills after they cleared the bills.
The court ruled that considering the convicts were allowed to take part in the elections five years later, how could the candidates, who paid their utility bills, be stopped from contesting the polls?
Advocate Fahd Siddiqui, the petitioner, had argued that the candidates, who didn’t pay their utility bills regularly, could not be expected to be sincere to the nation. He said some billionaires among politicians owed billions of rupees to various departments, so the court should stop them from participating in the elections.
Separately, a three-member Supreme Court of Pakistan bench led by Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani suspended a Lahore High Court order disqualifying former Provincial Assembly member Iftikhar Ahmed and served notices on the parties for April 2.
Also on Thursday, LHC Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan disposed of as infructuous an application against five former National Assembly member Liaquat Ali Bhatti and former Provincial Assembly members Rana Zahid, Mian Azam Chaila, Khwaja Islam and Farah Deeba in a case alleging they had fake degrees.
The judge ruled that as the assemblies had completed their tenure, hearing on these applications could not be continued.
The court had reserved its verdict in this case after lawyers completed their arguments on Tuesday.
The petitioner had said that the aforesaid assembly members contested the last elections on fake degrees and should therefore be qualified. They said that those who made false statements under oath did not meet the requirements of Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2013.
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