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Notices to AG, law minister

July 29, 2003

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LAHORE, July 28: The Lahore High Court issued on Monday notices to the Attorney-General and provincial minister Raja Basharat on a petition challenging the latter’s return to the Punjab Assembly.

Syed Aqeel Abbas Shah, a registered voter of PP-110 (Gujrat), had stated that despite losing the last general election Raja Basharat was appointed adviser to the Punjab chief minister on Jan 3, 2003.

Raja Basharat was declared elected to the Punjab Assembly from PP-110 in the byelections held on Jan 15, 2003.

Raja Basharat was holding a public office when the byelections were held. Under Section 99 of the Representation of People’s Act 1976, no person could be elected to an assembly if at the time of elections he was holding any public office.

Mr Shah further submitted that being an adviser to the chief minister, Raja Basharat had misused the state machinery to win elections and his victory was void.

The court was requested to declare the results of the byelections in PP-110 void and restrain the provincial law minister from working till the decision of the petition.

ISSUES FRAMED: An election tribunal of the Lahore High Court on Monday framed issues against MNA Sardar Talib Nakai in a petition challenging his return to the legislature.

After framing issues, the tribunal summoned the witnesses for the next date of hearing.

Rana Hayat Khan had challenged the victory of Sardar Talib Nakai on the grounds that the latter had got a loan of Rs500.71 million written off which he obtained in the name of a textile mills.

He had argued that under Section 12(c) of the Representation of People’s Act, any candidate who had got loans written off in excess of Rs200,000 was not eligible to contest the elections.

Hayat Khan submitted that Talib Nakai was holding 888,206 shares (69.35 per cent equity) of Hamid Textile Mills. Being a major shareholder, Talib Nakai could not get the loan written off.

He submitted that the Lahore High Court had allowed Talib Nakai to contest the elections yet it did not absolve him of his liability for paying off the loan.

Mr Khan further alleged that Talib Nakai used unfair means to secure a victory.