A division bench of the Lahore High Court has refused to hear an application seeking a stay on the presidential elections, as the matter has already been referred to a larger bench.
The issue came up when the division bench headed by Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh started hearing an application moved by petitioner Muhammad Azhar Siddique on his appeal challenging an amendment to the presidential election rules by which Article 63 is no longer applicable to those running for the office.
The petitioner submitted that without the application of Article 63, which outlines qualification criteria for election candidates, the presidential election could be contested by, say, a person of unsound mind or a convict.
The bench remarked that another division bench had already referred an identical plea to the chief justice for fixation before a larger bench and so it could not hear the petition. The plea was referred to the division bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The petitioner stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan had on September 10, 2007, issued a notification amending the Presidential Election Rules of 1988 in order to remove the disqualification conditions for candidates detailed in Article 63.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.