The appellate election tribunal had dismissed Masood’s petition last week
A voter in UC-107 moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) this week seeking cancellation of an appellate election tribunal’s verdict declaring valid Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Khwaja Ahmed Hassaan’s unopposed election as chairman of the union council.
Petitioner Aziz Masood submitted through his counsel Sheraz Zaka that Hassaan, the PML-N Lahore president, was ineligible to hold a political office under the Local Government Act of 2013.
He said Hassaan had served as vice chairman of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), adding that two years (minimum time period required between leaving a government office and assuming a political office under the 2013 Act) had not passed since he left the office.
The petitioner requested the court to overturn the appellate court’s verdict and cancel Hassaan’s unopposed election as the chairman of the union council.
On Friday, Justice Shahid Karim issued notices to Hassaan and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking their responses to the petition.
The appellate election tribunal had dismissed Masood’s petition last week.
During the hearing before the tribunal, the petitioner had contended that Hassaan was also associated with the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC).
He said under Section 27 of the Local Government Act of 2013, a person serving in a statutory body of a provincial government was not eligible to contest the local government election.
Hassan had submitted through his counsel Advocate Rai Shahid Saleem that he had held the office on an honorary basis. Additionally, he said had drawn no benefits associated with the position.
He contended that the definition of “service of Pakistan” in the Local Government Act of 2013 did not cover such an association with a provincial government body.
Hassaan’s counsel also questioned why the petitioner had failed to raise the matter before the returning officer during the scrutiny of his nomination papers. Nadeem Anwar Chaudhary, an additional district and sessions’ judge, had dismissed the application.
Khwaja Hassaan’s unopposed election was notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan on September 12 after his opponent from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muhammad Nawaz, withdrew his nomination papers. The PTI candidate had alleged that he was coerced by men associated with Hassaan to withdraw the papers.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2015.