Plea against Imran’s disqualification referred to LHC CJ

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LHC ECP reserved seats

A Lahore High Court (LHC) judge on Friday referred a petition, challenging Section 137(4) of the Election Act, 2017, under which former premier Imran Khan was disqualified in Toshakhana case, to the LHC chief justice with a request to form a larger bench for its hearing.

Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi heard the petition, filed by a voter of NA-95 constituency, Muhammad Jabir Abbas Khan.

An additional attorney general appeared before the court during Friday’s proceedings, and raised objection to the maintainability of the petition.

He requested the court to dismiss the petition for being non-maintainable.

However, the petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique argued that important law points had been raised through the petition and it needed con-sideration.

He requested the court to form a larger bench for its hearing.

At this stage, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) counsel sought 15-day time for filing reply to the petition.

Subsequently, the court agreed with the stance of the petitioner’s counsel and referred the matter to the LHC chief justice with a request to form a larger bench for its hearing.

The petitioner had submitted that the ECP was an administrative body, and not a court.

He submitted that the commission disqualified the former premier under Section 137 (4) of the Election Act, 2017, with mala fide.

He submitted that only a complaint could be filed if any offence was proved against the former premier, but the election watchdog exceeded its powers.

He submitted that the section was a violation of Article 10 of the Constitution, adding that it did not empower the commission to disqualify an elected member of the National Assembly.

He submitted that a member could be disqualified under Article 62 and only the courts could disqualify him.

He pleaded with the court to declare Section 137(4) of the Election Act, 2017 as ultra-vires the Constitu-tion with further contention that the authorities con-cerned, especially the ECP, be restrained from taking any action or proceedings in this matter.

 

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