LHC rejects Sheikh Rasheed’s plea against delay of NA-60 poll

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday has rejected Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rasheed’s plea challenging the postponement of polling in NA-60, Newsone reported.

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Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed has challenged in the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi Bench today against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polling the city’s NA-60 constituency.

LHC’s judge Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem of Rawalpindi Bench upheld the ECP’s decision to postpone polling in NA-60 Rawalpindi.

The ECP had postponed polling after the arrest and disqualification of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Hanif Abbasi, Rasheed’s main contender for the seat, in the ephedrine quota case last week.

Submitting a petition through his counsel Sardar Abdul Razzaq, Rasheed has contended that election cannot be postponed due to the sentencing of a candidate.

Rasheed has mentioned in the petition that elections in the constituencies of PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar were not postponed when they were jailed in the Avenfield properties reference earlier this month.

The petition has named the ECP and relevant returning officer as respondents.

With the petition yet to be fixed before a bench, Rasheed, who is present in court, told the media that he will approach the Supreme Court today in case the hearing is not fixed before a bench.

Addressing party supporters in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh Sunday night, Rasheed claimed that according to the Election Act 2017, polling cannot be postponed unless a candidate dies.

Earlier, he had demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar take notice of the postponement of election in NA-60.

“Hanif Abbasi was sentenced in a contraband smuggling case,” he told supporters, claiming that the ECP took an unconstitutional step to delay the polls, labelling the move a conspiracy.

Other than NA-60, Rasheed is contesting the July 25 general election from Rawalpindi’s NA-62 constituency as well.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, being Rasheed’s ally, has not fielded candidates in any of Rasheed’s constituencies.

A special anti-narcotics court sentenced Abbasi to life in the ephedrine quota case late Saturday, just four days before the general election in the country. The PML-N leader was taken into custody from the courtroom soon after the judge announced the verdict.

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