LHC dismisses MPs’ petitions against local commissions


LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC), headed by Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, dismissed on Friday scores of petitions filed by 12 parliamentarians, challenging the authority and legality of the local commissions appointed by LHC’s election tribunals to record statements of parties.
In its short order, the full bench held that the local commissions were constituted to assist the election tribunals and the Election Commission in the process of recording statements of the parties to the election petitions and they were working within their jurisdiction and limits, being answerable to the election tribunals.
Initially, the full bench had stopped the local commissions from proceeding in the election matters challenging the eligibility of MNAs and MPAs, including Faisal Saleh Hayat and Vilayat Shah Khagha, State Minister for Housing Tariq Anees and others.
The petitioners had questioned the competence of the tribunals to appoint commissions in the election matters. As a result, the local commissions, comprising senior advocates and retired judges, were barred from further proceeding in the election matters for recording statements. However, on Friday the full bench dismissed the petitions, declaring the petitions without merit.
It observed that evidence and statements would be recorded by the local commissions appointed for the purpose of assisting the LHC tribunals in election matters. The bench held the local commissions were legal and lawful and the election tribunals had powers to appoint them.