AJK HC allows Masood Khan to contest for presidential office

A H Rao

Mirpur (AJK)—AJK High Court Tuesday granted interim relief to Muhammad Masood Khan to contest the scheduled August 16 election to the office of the President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
The court suspended the earlier orders of the Registration Officer of Rawalakot and the Chief Election Commissioner of AJK refusing now entry of the name of Masood Khan in the electoral roll, despite his being the resident of Rawalakot tehsil of Poonch district.
Three-member bench of the AJK High Court comprising Justice M. Aftab Alvi, Justice Azher Salim Baber and Justice Sadaqat Raja announced the verdict in Muzaffarabad Tuesday afternoon on a writ petition filed by the AJK Presidential candidate Muhammad Masood Khan challenging the orders of the Chief Election Commissioner of AJK rejecting his (Masood Khan) name in the AJK Electoral Roll prepared for Constituency LA-XIX Poonch – III on provisional basis.
Muhammad Masood Khan, a retired seasoned ambassador of Foreign Service of Pakistan, is the PML-N candidate for August 16, 2016 election as President of AJK State.
“Impugned decisions of Registration Officer and Chief Election Commissioner dated 06.8.2016 and 08.8.2016 respectively, are suspended till decision of the instant case”, the learned court ordered in its judgment on Tuesday. “This order is however, subject to objections from other side”, the court order said.
The Court ordered that the petitioner (Muhammad Masood Khan) would, therefore, be entitled to participate in the process of election to the President of AJK office scheduled for August 16, 2016.
In his writ petition, Muhammad Masood Khan had prayed to the learned AJK High Court to direct the Registration Officer Poonch district to include the name of the petitioner in the electoral Roll prepared for village Kharik, Patwar Circle Pothi Makwalan Constitutnecy LA XIX Poonch-III.
As per contents of memorandum of writ petition, the petitioner Muhammad masood Khan is a State Subject of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and is a permanent resident of village Kharik Tehsil Rawalakot. The petitioner holds valid CNIC No. 611010-832925-5 with permanent address of Rawalakot. His name includes in the electoral Roll prepared for general election to the AJK Legislative Assembly for year 2011.
The petitioner had applied to the Registration Officer for inclusion of his name in the Electoral Roll prepared for AJK general election of the year 2016 held on July 21 this year. “But the Registration Officer Rawalakot, wide his order dated August 06, 2016 refused his application to include his name in the electoral roll”, the petitioner stated in his petition paying to the learned court to declared the above orders of Registration officer and the Chief Election Commissioner of AJK dated August 06, 2016 and August 08, 2016 respectively as void and without lawful authority.
Raja Muhammad Hanif Khan Advocate represented the petitioner in the learned court.

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