LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has allowed the head of the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) to contest the by-election in Jhang, overruling the election commission’s officer who had disqualified Ahmed Ludhianvi.
On Monday, a full bench of the LHC issued this order as the federal government and the election commission did not file any reply against the petition of Ludhianvi, who had challenged the order of the returning officer of PP-78.
The election officer had barred Ludhianvi from contesting the by-polls scheduled for December 1 for concealing the assets of his son and concealing the record of the FIRs registered against him.
The LHC full bench headed by Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and comprising Justice Shahid Karim and Justice Faisal Zaman passed this interim order and issued notices to the respondents of the case and fixed December 14 for further hearing.
The Punjab Assembly’s constituency had fallen vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Rashida Yaqoob of PML-N for concealing assets, upholding a decision of an election tribunal in October this year.
She was elected to the assembly in the 2013 general elections but the runner-up candidate, Ludhianvi, had challenged her qualification in the apex court.
The election commission announced holding a by-poll in the constituency on December 1 for which both Rashida and Ludhianvi filed nomination papers.
Last Friday, an LHC division bench had disqualified both the contestants from taking part in the by-poll.
The bench headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan heard the appeals filed by Sheikh Sheraz Akram and Azhar Abbas challenging the eligibility of Rashida and Ludhianvi to contest the election.
The petitioners argued before the bench that both candidates had filed their nomination papers for contesting the by-election but were not eligible to contest.
They submitted that an election tribunal de-seated Rashida from PP-78 for concealing facts regarding loans default and getting them written off.
The court maintained the election tribunal orders while dismissing her appeal, they added.
Ludhianvi was also accused of concealing facts regarding his assets and many FIRs were registered against him for inciting violence. Both candidates did not fulfil the conditions of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, they contended.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2016.