close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Abbasi can now run for polls

Top Story

June 30, 2018

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday allowed former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to contest election from his home constituency NA-57 after suspending the appellate tribunal’s verdict wherein it had disqualified him for life for not being Sadiq and Ameen.

A two-member bench, headed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, also issued notices to the federal government as well as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for July 2. On the other hand, the ECP suspended the notification of former finance minister Ishaq Dar's election as senator in the light of the Supreme Court orders after a petition, moved by PPP’s Nawazish Pirzada, had requested the apex court to suspend the LHC judgment allowing Dar to contest the March 3 Senate elections.

During the hearing on Friday, Abbasi’s lawyer Khawaja Tariq Rahim told the court that the appellate tribunal only had the right to accept or reject nomination papers but could not disqualify a candidate. He maintained that Abbasi – who was also present in the court – presented details of all his assets in the nomination papers. He said the tribunal rejected the nomination papers on the grounds that the petitioner did not provide details and the current value of his assets despite the fact that he had provided the cost of the assets. He contended that the petitioner was not bound to provide the current value of assets in accordance with the rules, he added. Moreover, he said the tribunal condemned the petitioner unheard as he was not afforded an opportunity of hearing, which was a sheer violation of fundamental right to fair trial under Article 10-A of the Constitution. The LHC directed the ECP's counsel to convey the court order to the returning officer concerned for necessary action and submit a reply to the petition by July 2. Addressing the former prime minister, Justice Naqvi said that comments he made on his disqualification verdict by the appellate tribunal were not appropriate.

On Wednesday, the appellate tribunal at the LHC Rawalpindi Bench had disqualified the PML-N leader for life, barring him from contesting the upcoming elections from his home constituency, while declaring that he is not Sadiq and Ameen. According to the tribunal’s written verdict, Abbasi was guilty of “concealing facts and withholding information from voters” in his nomination forms submitted for the constituency.

Meanwhile, an LHC full bench allowed time to former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal to make necessary amendment to his reply to the charges of contempt of court by delivering an objectionable speech against Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. objectionable speech against Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

Earlier, former minister, along with his counsel Azam Nazir Tarar, appeared before the bench and submitted his written reply. However, the bench rejected the reply and noted that the former minister sought an apology from the court but did not use the word "apology" in his reply.

Advocate Tarar requested the bench to allow more time to make necessary changes to the written reply. The bench allowed the request and adjourned hearing till July 2. Meanwhile, an LHC full bench allowed time to former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal to make necessary amendment to his reply to charges of the contempt of court by delivering an objectionable speech against Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.

Earlier, former minister, along with his counsel Azam Nazir Tarar, appeared before the bench and submitted his written reply. However, the bench rejected the reply and noted that the former minister sought an apology from the court but did not use the word "apology" in his reply.

Advocate Tarar requested the bench to allow more time to make necessary changes to the written reply. The bench allowed the request and adjourned hearing till July 2. On the other hand, the LHC Friday sentenced four persons, including a former MNA, to one-month imprisonment and Rs 100,000 fine each for staging an anti-judiciary rally in Kasur.

The four PML-N leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-N, along with others, had staged an anti-judiciary rally after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif for life in the Panama Leaks case.

The bench, however, exonerated former MPA Naeem Safdar and former municipal committee chairman Ayaz Khan of contempt charges. The police arrested ex-MNA Waseem Akhtar, former vice-chairman of a union council Ahmad Latif, Nasir Khan and Jamil Khan from the courtroom soon after the verdict was announced by a three-member full bench of the LHC, led by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir were other members of the bench. Before he was bundled into police van, Waseem Akhtar told the media that he would file an appeal against his conviction. Since the conviction also entails disqualification for five years, the PML-N leader said his son would contest the upcoming general election in his place.

Kasur District Bar Association President Mirza Naseem and others had filed petitions in the court pleading that the protest rally taken out by the then parliamentarians and local government leaders affiliated with the PML-N was a planned conspiracy against the institution of judiciary.

The petitioners said the act of the respondents amounted to contempt of court and they were all liable to be punished under the law. They asked the court to also declare the respondents disqualified besides initiating contempt proceedings against them.

All the convicts had denied the charges against them and also tendered their unconditional apology. Kasur police had lodged a case against over 100 people including 80 nominated after the convicted former parliamentarians and local government leaders had in April last staged a rally against the Supreme Court’s verdict against Nawaz Sharif. The protestors used abusive language against judiciary and the judges.