LHC dismisses Ghulam Abbas’ plea against tribunal verdict

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LAHORE: A two-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday dismissed a petition, filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sardar Ghulam Abbas against the appellate tribunal’s verdict of disqualifying him from contesting election from NA-64 Chakwal.

The bench, headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, heard the petition. During the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel, questioning the appellate tribunal verdict, submitted that it was against facts. He submitted that the appellate tribunal passed an illegal and unlawful decision as it went beyond its jurisdiction.

However, the respondent’s counsel submitted that Ghulam Abbas did not specify asset details and omitted facts, including inherited land in nomination papers. He submitted that the petitioner did not pay or file tax returns. He pleaded with the bench to dismiss the petition.

The LHC bench observed that Ghulam Abbas had served twice as a member of the provincial assembly and twice as district nazim, yet he did not pay taxes. “He led a luxurious life but remained a non-tax filer,” remarked the judge.

However, Abbas’s counsel asserted that his client had led a simple life despite being in power.

The bench, after hearing arguments of the parties, dismissed the petition and upheld appellate tribunal verdict.

An appellate tribunal, headed by Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi at the Rawalpindi bench of LHC, had rejected the nomination papers of Sardar Ghulam Abbas while allowing an appeal filed by rival candidates.

THREE OTHER CANDIDATES DECLARED INELIGIBLE:

LHC also declared PTI candidate Rana Asif Tauseef ineligible to contest election from NA-105 Faisalabad.

The bench headed by Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza set aside the verdict of accepting the nomination papers of Rana Asif by the returning officer and election tribunal while allowing a petition filed by Nazir Jutt against it.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the respondent did not provide complete details of his assets in the nomination forms besides failure to mention that his wife was a bank defaulter. He submitted that the returning officer illegally accepted the nomination papers of the respondent, which was upheld by the appellate tribunal. He pleaded with the bench to set aside the verdict of accepting respondent’s nomination papers and declare him ineligible to contest the elections.

However, Rana Asif’s counsel argued that his client declared all assets in the nomination papers, whereas the bank loans had been rescheduled and the court had suspended the decree issued against respondent’s wife. He pleaded with the bench to dismiss the petition as the returning officer and the tribunal had accepted the nomination papers on merit. But, the bench after hearing detailed arguments of the parties, declared Rana Asif ineligible while setting aside his nomination papers.

Meanwhile, another bench set aside an appellate tribunal verdict allowing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Rana Zahid to contest election from NA-146 Arif Wala.

The bench passed the orders while allowing a petition against the appellate tribunal verdict. The petitioner had contended that the tribunal allowed the respondent to contest election despite being a fake degree holder.

The bench also dismissed a petition for declaring PTI candidate Amjad Joya, from the same constituency, ineligible. The petition was filed by independent candidate Waseem Zafar.

Moreover, the bench also declared candidate Chaudhry Javed Ahmad ineligible to contest elections from NA-145 and PP-192. He was declared ineligible for hiding facts regarding his education. The bench also dismissed a petition against acceptance of former federal minister Saira Afzal Tarar’s nomination papers from NA-87 Gujranwala. Petitions against the acceptance of nomination papers of PML-N candidates Muhammad Yousaf from PP-229 Vehari and Rana Bilal Farooq from PP-105 Faisalabad were also dismissed.