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LAHORE, April 23: A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday released former MPA Chaudhry Rizwan Gill on bail and suspended his sentence awarded on charges of a fake degree.

The Sargodha district and sessions judge had sentenced Gill three years in jail with a fine of Rs5,000.

Later the returning officer of PP-34 and the election tribunal rejected his nomination papers on the ground of conviction.

Gill filed a bail petition and argued, through his counsel, that he was charged under Section 420 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 82 of the People’s Representative Act. He said both sections did not fall under the prohibitory clause of Section 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The petitioner also submitted that the trial court convicted him in a fake degree case relying on inconclusive evidence and the allegations had not been proved so far. He requested the court to suspend his sentence and release him on bail.

The bench, headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, directed the accused to deposit two surety bonds of Rs200,000 each.