Lahore [Pakistan], August 12 (ANI): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday dismissed a plea against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to contest elections on all nine vacant seats of the National Assembly (NA), local media reported.
Justice Shahid Jamil Khan of the Lahore HC heard the petition challenging PTI chief Imran Khan’s decision.
During the proceedings, Justice Shahid Khan asked whether the nomination papers had been submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s office, to which the counsel representing the petitioner replied negative, ARY News reported.
Terming the matter ‘immature’, the court said the petitioner should wait until the submission of the nomination papers and then file his objection with the ECP first and then approach the courts.
The petitioner’s counsel, after observing the court’s vision, decided to withdraw the petition. Subsequently, Justice Khan dismissed the petition after the counsel withdrew it.
The petition was filed by Advocate Mian Asif Mehmood, named the Federation of Pakistan through the Cabinet Division secretary, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar through the law secretary, the Election Commission of Pakistan ECP through Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, and Imran as respondents in the case.
The petitioner, Mian Asif Mehmood, Punjab president of the Amun Taraqqi Party, had requested the court to restrain the PTI chairman from contesting the by-elections on all nine seats in the “interest of the country”.
The ECP had announced last week that by-elections on nine National Assembly (NA) seats will be held on September 25.
Last month, the ECP accepted 11 out of the 131 resignations tendered by the PTI MNAs, following the removal of the party chief from the office of the Prime minister earlier this year.
Soon after the decision was taken, Imran Khan had announced his candidature for all the seats.
According to Dawn newspaper, the petition filed stated that it had become “a lacuna to contest election on multiple seats by the candidates in the general elections”, highlighting that the issue needed to be addressed as it was a “very clear case of political exploitation”.
It pointed out that this phenomenon was legally “questionable” and the costs of an individual contesting multiple seats were “significant” in bypoll-related expenses that would be required if a candidate secured many seats.
The petitioner said he was filing the application on the basis of public importance/interest to get the ambiguity in the law removed for the “larger interest of the nation”, adding that it needed to be heard in the “supreme interest of justice for the interest of the public at large”.
Furthermore, he requested the LHC to direct Imran not to contest any election of the parliament before the submission and acceptance of his resignation as an MNA.
The petition also called for a direction to be issued to the relevant respondents to amend the law so as to regulate the eligibility criteria of parliamentarians to contest the election. (ANI)
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