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December 24, 2015

LHC appoints amicus curies in UC-34, UC-35 elections case


December 24, 2015


The Lahore High Court appointed Asma Jahangir and Shahzad Shaukat as amicus curies on petitions challenging election of two union councils of district Sargodha, UC-34 and UC-35, for depriving women of their right to vote. The court adjourned the hearing to January 21. Sheikh Mukhtar, a local resident, had filed a petition and pointed out that there were 3,656 women voters in UC-34 but a single women was not allowed to cast her vote, which was unlawful and against the spirit of the democracy. 

On previous hearing, Justice Khan stayed the result of the UCs and sought replies from the Election Commission of Pakistan, provincial election commission and district election commissioner as well as from district returning officer and returning officer.  Justice Khan had observed that every citizen of Pakistan was aggrieved if women were not allowed to cast votes in any constituency of the country. He had also observed that the matter was of grave concern and the court could not ignore it merely on technical grounds. The petitioner pointed out that in the absence of women’ votes, the result of the overall constituency cannot be issued and the winners cannot be declared as winners. He requested the court to set aside the election and ordered the authorities concerned to hold election.

PU: The Lahore High Court Tuesday directed the Punjab University to hold senate election within the period of six months on a contempt petition filed by some officials seeking contempt proceedings against the varsity’s vice-chancellor.  Javed Sami and others had filed the petition and pointed out that senate election was not held despite the fact that the court already had ordered the varsity’s administration to hold it. The petitioners stated that the varsity’s VC had committed contempt of the court by not holding the senate election. They pleaded the court to summon VC and initiate contempt proceedings against him. Malik Owais Khalid, legal adviser of the Punjab University, however, opposed the petitioners’ arguments saying that the senate election was not held since 1988 and, therefore, the voters’ lists were not prepared. The varsity’s counsel said the voters’ lists were being prepared in the light of the courts’ order. The teachers of colleges and university having three years of experience could be eligible to cast their votes, he said. He pleaded that this whole process would take at least 6 months. After hearing both sides, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah directed the varsity’s administration to hold senate election within 6 months time and sought performance report by Jan 27.

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