–LHC bench summons federal govt and ECP on July 2 to submit replies in former premier’s appeal challenging his disqualification by appellate tribunal
–Former premier says outcome of polls should be in hands of people, not courts
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday cleared former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for contesting the upcoming polls from his home constituency, Murree’s NA-57, suspending the appellate tribunal’s verdict wherein it had disqualified the PML-N stalwart for life for not being Sadiq (truthful) and Ameen (sagacious).
A two-judge LHC bench headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi summoned the federal government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appear in the hearing of the case on July 2.
During the proceedings, Abbasi’s lawyer told the court that the appellate tribunal only has the right to accept or reject nomination papers, and cannot disqualify a candidate. He maintained that Abbasi–who was also present in the court– presented details of all his assets in the nomination papers.
On Wednesday, the appellate tribunal at the Rawalpindi bench had disqualified the politician for life, barring him from contesting in the upcoming elections from his home constituency of NA-57 while declaring that he is not Sadiq (truthful) and Ameen (sagacious).
It had further stated that the former PM does not meet the requirements under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan.
Following the verdict, the former premier had issued a statement, saying that he would file a petition against the verdict of appellate election tribunal which was his constitutional right.
He had further observed that in accordance with article 62, 63, the election tribunal is not authorised to disqualify any politician. “Election Commission and Supreme Judicial Council should take notice of making the election controversial,” Abbasi had remarked.
On Friday, the former premier said the outcome of polls should be in the hands of people and not courts.
Speaking to media representatives outside LHC, he said that his nomination papers were never rejected on technical grounds as he was submitting them for the 10th time.
The decision to elect someone and that of rejecting someone’ s nomination papers should be of the people rather than that of courts. “The people will decide on July 25 that who is eligible and who is not,” he added.
Abbasi also asserted that only PML-N was being “targeted” and no other party had to face the same problems. “This is not doing any harm, but in fact, is benefiting PML-N because the masses know it well,” he said.