LAHORE, April 5: Announcing a reserved judgment, the Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of former PML-Q MNA Sumaira Malik.

Ms Malik had won 2008 general election from NA-69, Khushab. A defeated candidate from the same constituency, Malik Umar Aslam Awan, filed the petition and alleged that Ms Malik done her intermediate in 1981 and remained non-graduate till 2002; and in order to avoid her ineligibility, she managed a fake BA degree from the University of Punjab.

The petitioner alleged the respondent was a defaulter of bank loan and government revenue as well. He pleaded that the respondent did not qualify the criteria required under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution to become an assembly member. He requested the court to declare Ms Malik ineligible to contest the election being a dishonest person.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan dismissed the petition and observed that the petitioner had failed to establish his case.

Court moved against polls

A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court to halt the process of upcoming general election.

Advocate Shahid Jami filed this petition, saying the Election Commission of Pakistan did not evolve any mechanism for the enforcement of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. He said the scrutiny of nomination papers was also not being done satisfactorily. The lawyer said loopholes in the election process would let fake degree holders and defaulters sit in the assemblies again.

He prayed to the court to restrain the ECP from holding the general election unless a comprehensive plan to implement the Constitution was not made.

Blank column case

The Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging inclusion of a “blank column” in ballot papers for the general election.

In pursuance to the court’s notice, counsel for the Election Commission appeared and told the court that the proposal of the blank column had been withdrawn and the old format of the ballot paper would prevail in the May 11 polls. In the light of the ECP reply, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah dismissed the petition.

A citizen, Rana Saeed, filed the petition saying the decision to include “blank column” in the ballot paper was contrary to democratic principles and the Constitution.

Adjourned

The Lahore High Court on Friday adjourned the matter of Muhammad Ashraf Wathra’s appointment as deputy chairman of the State Bank of Pakistan.

The court had already stopped the deputy governor from working. It was argued by the petitioner that the impugned appointment was made in violation of a ban imposed by the ECP against fresh appointments.