LAHORE, April 30: A Lahore High Court full bench on Tuesday disqualified Niwani brothers of Bhakkar from contesting the general election for being defaulter of government dues.
Rasheed Akbar Niwani, Hameed Akbar Niwani and Saeed Akbar Niwani, of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, had filed their nomination papers from NA-74, PP-48 and PP-49, Bhakkar.
The returning officers concerned had accepted nomination papers of Rasheed Niwani and Saeed Niwani but rejected the papers of Hameed Niwani.
Rival candidates Ghazanfar Cheena and Rafiq Khan Niazi had filed petitions against the acceptance of the papers of two brothers. Hameed Niwani approached the high court against rejection of his papers.
The Niwani brothers were accused of being fake degree holders and defaulter of government dues.
Representing the objectors, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar argued before the full bench that the three brothers were defaulter of Wasa against a jointly owned property situated on Zafar Ali Road, Gulberg.
He pointed out that Wasa dues had not been paid since 1985. However, he said the respondents cleared the dues when objections were raised on the candidature before ROs and election tribunals. He said Hameed was also a defaulter of Punjab House Islamabad’s dues besides Wasa.
The bench observed that the Constitution and the law had no room for habitual defaulters and the payment of dues at the belated stage was itself an admission of the willful default.
After hearing the arguments and examining the Wasa record, the bench dismissed the petition of Hameed and allowed petitions against Rasheed and Saeed.
The bench also disqualified former MPA Haji Nasir Iqbal from contesting election from NA-105, Gujrat.
The returning officer had rejected the papers of Iqbal while an election tribunal allowed him to contest the polls.
An opponent candidate, Iftikhar Ahmad, had challenged the candidature of Iqbal for being a fake degree holder.
Petitioner’s counsel argued that Iqbal had contested the 2008 election on the basis of a graduation degree obtained by a university which was not recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) at the time of the previous polls.
He said the tribunal allowed Iqbal to contest election after the HEC stated that the university had been recognised with retrospective effect and the degree of Iqbal also attained validity.
The counsel pointed out that the former MPA was disqualified by the apex court along with other fake degree holder parliamentarians. Therefore, he argued, it had been established that the respondent was not an honest and righteous person.
The bench set aside the decision of the election tribunal and disqualified Haji Nasir Iqbal from contesting the election.