NA-133 by-poll: Judge recuses himself from Cheema’s writ petition

Published November 12, 2021
This combination photo shows PTI ticket-holders Jamshed Iqbal Cheema (R) and his wife Musarrat Cheema (the covering candidate). — APP/File
This combination photo shows PTI ticket-holders Jamshed Iqbal Cheema (R) and his wife Musarrat Cheema (the covering candidate). — APP/File

LAHORE: A member of a Lahore High Court division bench on Thursday recused himself from the writ petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s candidate for NA-133 by-poll Jamshed Cheema and his wife, being a covering candidate, against the rejection of their nomination papers by the returning officer and an election tribunal.

As the bench took up the petitions, Justice Shahid Waheed who headed the bench recused himself from the case for personal reasons. Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal was the other member on the bench. The bench referred the petitions to the chief justice for fixation before any other appropriate bench.

The RO had rejected the nomination papers of the couple on the basis that their proposer was not a registered voter of the constituency. They challenged the decision before the election tribunal which also dismissed their appeal and upheld the rejection of the papers.

PML-N’s voters had challenged the nomination papers of the PTI’s candidates saying proposer Bilal Hussain was not qualified to subscribe the papers of the duo under the Elections Act 2017.

The petitioners contended that the impugned orders passed by the election tribunal and the RO were in violation of Article 4 of the Constitution, which is a citadel of administrative and judicial governance in the country. The petitioners said they had been illegally disenfranchised and deprived of constitutional right to contest the election.

Lahore’s constituency had fallen vacant due to the death of PML-N MNA Pervaiz Malik.

The ECP announced a by-poll to fill the vacancy on Dec 5 and PML-N announced Malik’s widow Shaista Pervez Malik as its candidate.

In their writ petitions, the PTI’s candidates also asked the high court to suspend the schedule for the by-election till final decision of the case.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2021

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