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LHC bars ASWJ emir from contesting Jhang by-poll

LHC bars ASWJ emir from contesting Jhang by-poll

LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench on Friday barred Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) emir Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi and Rashida Yaqoob, already disqualified MPA of PML-N, from participating in by-election of PP-78, Jhang.

The Punjab Assembly’s constituency had fallen vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Rashida Yaqoob for concealing assets, upholding a decision of an election tribunal in October this year.

She was elected to the assembly in the 2013 elections and runner-up candidate Ludhianvi had challenged her qualification up to the apex court.

The election commission announced holding a by-poll in the constituency on Dec 1 for which both Ms Yaqoob and Ludhianvi also filed their nomination papers. Ms Yaqoob filed her nomination as an independent candidate. The returning officer accepted their nomination papers.

PML-N’s candidate Sheikh Sheraz Akram challenged the qualification of both Ms Yaqoob and Ludhianvi through two identical appeals before the high court.

The petitioner’s counsel argued before the bench that the name of Maulana Ludhianvi was included in the list of fourth-schedule and more than a dozen criminal cases were registered against him.

The lawyer also pointed out serious discrepancy in details of the assets provided by Ludhianvi to the election commission in the 2013 general elections and the upcoming by-polls.

Against the eligibility of Ms Yaqoob, the lawyer argued that a disqualified parliamentarian could not contest election again.

He said the returning officer ignored the Supreme Court decision and accepted the nomination papers of Ms Yaqoob.

The lawyer asked the bench to disqualify both respondents from participating in the by-polls and set aside the decision of the returning officer.

The bench headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan allowed the appeals and barred Ludhianvi and Ms Yaqoob from contesting the by-election of PP-78, Jhang.

Published in Dawn November 12th, 2016

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