Detailed verdict released on petitions against Kulsoom Nawaz candidacy

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday released detailed judgement on petitions challenging the candidature of PML-N candidate Begum Kulsoom Nawaz for the NA-120 by-election.

By a 2-1 majority vote, the bench comprising Justice Amin-ud-din Khan, Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi and Justice Shahid Jamil Khan dismissed all the three petitions filed by PPP candidate Faisal Mir and others.

In their detailed verdict, Justice Amin-ud-din Khan and Justice Shahid Jamil Khan held that the all three petitions were not maintainable in the light of Apex Court judgements as no one was going to be disfranchised.  However, the judges observed that the petitioners could file post-election petition under the Representation of People Act 1976 before the appropriate tribunal.  “The petitioners may raise all the objections against acceptance of nomination papers and non-decision of their objections, as at time of filing and scrutiny of nomination papers, the inquiries and all proceedings are summary in nature”, they added. The judges further noted that the petitioners failed to provide any material to substantiate their objections.

But, Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi held that the returning officer failed to perform his functions in accordance with law and he had arbitrarily proceeded to accept the nomination papers of the respondent-candidate, without giving any reason and without disposal of objections.

He noted that the appellate tribunal also failed to notice the arbitrariness in the conduct of returning officer.  “The order of tribunal and returning officer are result of an arbitrary exercise and have no legal effect and thus are set aside”, he added.