The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday suspended the Punjab Election Appellate Tribunal’s decision disqualifying former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for life for not being ‘honest’ and ‘sagacious’, and barring him from contesting the election from his native NA-57 (Rawalpindi-I) constituency.
A two-judge LHC bench headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi summoned the federal government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appear in the hearing of the case on July 2.
Abbasi’s lawyer told the court today that the appellate tribunal only has the right to accept or reject nomination papers, and cannot disqualify a candidate. He maintained that Abbasi presented details of all his assets in the nomination papers.
The presiding officer of the tribunal, Justice Ibadur Rahman Lodhi, had on Wednesday disqualified both Abbasi and Pakstan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Fawad Chaudhry.
A visibly angry Abbasi had soon after announced he would challenge the decision, and voiced concern over the judge’s decision. “The election is not a game. It should not be turned into a spectacle,” Abbasi had said while speaking to DawnNewsTV.
“How can a decision be made without having heard the defendant’s argument?” he had asked.
Meanwhile, the decision against Chaudhry was suspended by the LHC yesterday.