Unopposed candidates: Lawyers move requisition against PBC decision

Council has allowed both contestants to become vice-presidents


Rana Yasif December 21, 2016
The PBC finance committee pointed out that the influx of terrorism in the city had brought business activities to a standstill. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: More than 100 lawyers have moved a requisition in the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) against the Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC) decision to elect unopposed both contestants on the Model Town seat and allowing them to become vice-presidents for six months each.

Strongly condemning the decision, the lawyers contend the decision was illegal in light of the PBC rules. They have termed it tantamount to depriving the lawyers’ right of vote by announcing unopposed winning candidates Mian Muhammad Naeem Hasan Wattoo and Hassamuddin Khan Bisirya.

Candidate Bisirya had challenged the candidature of Wattoo, alleging the latter was a member of the Dipalpur Bar Association and still contesting the election for LBA.

According to Punjab Bar Council rules, any candidate who transfers his vote to Lahore from anywhere has to wait for three years to contest an election. In Wattoo’s case, Bisirya claimed, it was not possible for him to contest the election.

The PBC stopped Wattoo from contesting the LBA elections but he challenged the decision in the Lahore High Court. The judge referred the matter to a five-member committee headed by election commission chairman Waqar Hassan Mir, who in consultation with PBC members, decided their tenure.

Mir said the unanimous decision was taken by the committee in which a timeframe was given to the contestants according to their wishes.

Before this decision, he said, they asked both the candidates, who decided to give them six months each to hold the slot of vice-president on Model Town seat. Their decision was unanimously endorsed by the committee.

Bisirya said Wattoo could not contest the election but “the elders had unanimously decided to have the power of vice-president slot for six months each”, which he accepted.

Wattoo claimed he did no wrong by contesting the election, adding it was his right to contest the polls but he still accepted the decision to hold the power for first six months only.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2016.

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