NA-133 by-poll: LHC dismisses pleas of PTI’s Jamshed Cheema, wife


LAHORE: In a major blow to the ruling party, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday dismissed the writ petitions of PTI candidate for NA-133 (Lahore) by-poll, Jamshed Cheema, and his wife, being a covering candidate, against the rejection of their nomination papers.

A two-member bench of the LHC comprising Justice Jawad Hassan and Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabbir dismissed the petitions after hearing the arguments of the lawyers for the PTI and the PML-N.

The returning officer (RO) had rejected the nomination papers of the petitioners and an election tribunal also upheld the decision of the RO.

The PML-N voters had challenged the nomination papers of the PTI candidates, saying the proposer, Bilal Hussain, was not qualified to become proposer of the duo under the Elections Act 2017.

Earlier, two division benches of the high court had recused themselves from taking up the petition for personal reasons.

When the two-judge bench of LHC heard the case on Tuesday, it warned the petitioners against giving an impression that there had been a delay on the part of the court.

During the hearing, according to a report, Cheemas’ counsel Mobeenuddin Qazi argued that the returning officer rejected the nomination papers on the basis that their proposer was not a registered voter in the NA-133 constituency.

He said the proposer had duly obtained a voter certificate from the Election Commission of Pakistan before proposing the candidature of the petitioners.

It was pointed out that the voter certificate did not show the constituency of a voter.

The petitioners came to know through the media that their proposer was not a registered voter of the constituency, he argued, adding that the petitioners sought the ECP permission to change the proposer, but their request was dismissed.

The PTI candidate’s counsel, the report added, held the ECP responsible for the discrepancy that the proposer was not on the voter list while all his family members were voters in NA-133.

After hearing arguments, the LHC dismissed the petition.

The NA-133 constituency had fallen vacant after the death of PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik and a by-poll was announced by the ECP on Dec 5.

Pervaiz Malik’s widow, Shaista Pervaiz Malik is the PML-N’s candidate for the seat.

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