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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging a ban by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on participation of local government representatives in political activities regarding the elections.

Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza had reserved the decision the other day on the maintainability of the petition, which he announced on Tuesday. The judge dismissed the petition for being non-maintainable.

Several chairmen and vice chairmen from various union councils had assailed the ban terming it a violation of Political Parties Act (Amended) 2017. The petitioners’ through their counsel contended that the ECP put the impugned ban through a simple notification. They asked the court to set aside the ban for being unconstitutional.

The ECP had barred the participation of local government representatives in election campaigns under Section 233 of Election Act 2017.

dismissed: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the candidature of former federal minister Sheikh Waqas Akram from NA-115, Jhang.

Muhammad Imran, a voter from the constituency, filed a petition pleading that the returning officer had rejected the nomination papers of Mr Akram on the basis of fake academic credentials and concealment of assets.

However, he said, an appellate tribunal had set aside the decision and allowed Akram to contest the upcoming elections. The petitioner contended that the tribunal allowed the appeal of Akram ignoring the facts of the case. He asked the court to set aside the impugned decision and disqualify Waqas Akram from contesting the elections.

A division bench comprising Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza and Justice Jawad Hassan dismissed the petition and upheld the decision of the appellate tribunal.

The same bench recused itself from hearing a petition challenging the nomination papers of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat chief Ahmad Ludhyanvi from NA-115 and PP-126 (Jhang). The bench referred the petition to the chief justice for its fixation before any other appropriate bench for disposal.

Fida Hussain had filed two identical petitions challenging the candidature of Ludhyanvi from both constituencies. He alleged that the candidate did not disclose the details of his assets as well as the criminal cases registered against him while filing nomination papers before the returning officer. He said an appellate tribunal also allowed Ludhyanvi to contest the election.

The petitioner asked the court to set aside the impugned decisions and reject the nomination papers of Ludhyanvi.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2018