Race to the polls: Two former lawmakers allowed to contest

Published: April 26, 2013

The election tribunal had earlier declared Sibtain ineligible on a petition filed by former federal minister Samsam Ali Bukhari. PHOTO:FILE

LAHORE: 

A Lahore High Court bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Thursday provisionally allowed former MNA Syed Gulzar Sibtain to contest elections from NA-145, Okara.

The election tribunal had earlier declared Sibtain ineligible on a petition filed by former federal minister Samsam Ali Bukhari.

He had claimed that Sibtain had been involved in canal water theft and had not declared all his assets when he submitted his nomination papers.

On Thursday, Sibtain submitted that the allegations were false and requested the court to overturn the tribunal’s judgement.

After hearing the arguments, the bench conditionally allowed him to contest elections.

The election commission and police were issued notices for April 29 to submit case details.

The bench also granted former federal minister Rana Farooq Saeed Khan provisional permission to contest elections from NA-79, Faislabad.

Khan’s brother had claimed that he had usurped his property. A voter present in the courtroom had also levelled similar charges against Khan. Khan denied the allegation saying, “I will quit politics if these allegations are proven.” The bench extended the stay order, allowing Khan to conditionally contest elections. The bench also directed the Federal Board of Revenue to produce Khan’s income and sales tax record on April 29. Petitioner seeks review of Bhagat Singh’s sentence Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the Lahore High Court on Thursday referred a petition seeking a review of the death sentence awarded to Bhagat Singh to Justice Shujat Ali Khan.

Justice Khan is hearing a similar petition that has sought a review of sentence awarded to Ghazi Ilmud Din.

Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi, the man who has filed the review petition for Singh, has described him as a freedom fighter who fought for the independence of the sub continent. Qureshi says Singh was first given life imprisonment but the sentence was later changed to death. The freedom fighter, he says, was sentenced in a “fake case”.

The petitioner says that the then-governor of the Punjab had constituted a tribunal through an ordinance, which was valid for four months. The tribunal started its proceedings six days prior to the lapse of its tenure, says Qureshi, and did not record the statement of about 450 witnesses.

It did not hear arguments from Singh’s lawyer either, says the petition.

Later, a court in London dismissed an appeal filed by Singh, who was hanged along with his two companions.

Qureshi says Singh was respected by Sikhs as well as Muslims. He says that Mohammad Ali Jinnah had also paid tribute to Singh’s sacrifice twice in the Central Assembly.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2013.

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