LHC dismisses petition against Imran’s move to run for nine seats

Petitioner withdraws plea after judge asks to wait for submission of nomination papers, and approach ECP first


Rana Yasif August 11, 2022
Lahore High Court. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:

Justice Shahid Jamil Khan of the Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed on Thursday a petition challenging former prime minister Imran Khan's decision to contest by-elections on all nine vacant seats of the National Assembly.

As the proceedings commenced, Justice Khan asked whether the nomination papers had been submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) office, to this the counsel representing the petitioner argued that PTI chief Imran Khan had not submitted his nomination papers yet.

The court remarked that the matter at hand was “immature”, adding that the petitioner should wait until the submission of the nomination papers and then file his objection with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) first and then approach the courts.

The petitioner’s counsel, after observing the court’s vision, decided to withdraw the petition. Subsequently, Justice Khan dismissed the petition after the counsel withdrew it.

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The petitioner, Mian Asif Mehmood, Punjab president of the Amun Taraqqi Party, had requested the court to restrain the PTI chairman from contesting the by-elections on all nine seats in the “interest of the country”.

He contended that the practice of a candidate contesting elections from multiple seats needed to be addressed because of it being a case of political exploitation.

He stated that the former premier had contested the general elections in 2018 on five seats and won all of them. He then vacated four seats and the ECP had to again conduct elections on them.

Several other leaders, including Aleem Khan and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, also contested elections from multiple seats, the petitioner maintained.

He requested the court that the respondent be directed to not contest any election of parliament before submitting his resignation before a competent authority as a member of the National Assembly and till its acceptance.

He also sought directions to relevant authorities to amend the law to regulate the eligibility criteria of the parliamentarians to contest elections.

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