LAHORE - Peer Masood Chisti of Asma Jahangir group notched up the president seat of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) for year 2015-16 after defeating Sheikh Shahid Maqbool of professional Group led by Hamid Khan on Saturday.

Chishti bagged 4053 votes while his rival candidate Maqbool could get only 3118 votes and failed to mark victory, as per the unofficial result announced on Saturday evening. About 7300 votes were cast out of registered 19672 votes. 5800 votes were cast through biometric system while 1500 votes were cast through manual system. The polling started exactly at 9:00am and continued till 5:00pm with one hour interval for lunch as per the schedule.

However, Asma Jahangir group, unlike the previous year, marked victory and won all four seats with a big margin even after successful victory in the election of Supreme Court Bar Association and Pakistan Bar Council. On the slot of Vice-President, Irfan Arif Sheikh was elected with 4309 votes while his rival candidate Soofia Masood could bag only 2805 votes. Muhammad Ahmad Qayyum won the seat of Secretary and bagged 3751 votes while his rival candidate Mian Asghar Ali of Hamid Khan Group could get 3392 votes.

For the seat of Finance Secretary, victory became the fate of Syed Akhtar Sherazi who gained 2628 votes against his three rival candidates including Amna Ajmal, Azeem Akram and Nabeela Jafri. Amna could get 1395 votes; Azeem got 1682, while Nabeela Jafri bagged total 1452 votes.

As the supporters of Peer Masood Chisthi came to know about his victory, they started dancing within the premises of the bar on the drum beat, also showered rose petals on their winning candidate. They were much excited over his victory and were chanting slogans in the favour of their group in the bar premises. Talking to reporters after his victory, Chisthi said that he would work for the welfare of the lawyers’ community and would continue struggling for the supremacy of law and justice.

It is first time in the country’s history that lawyers’ community - which is the biggest community among others - used biometric system for their election. However, majority of the lawyers, for not being familiar with the system, faced problems while casting votes. Election Board Deputy Chairman Tahir Munir Malik said that election through the biometric system was a good experience which could be adopted across the country to hold transparent elections for larger national interest. Strict security arrangements were made for the election as walks through gates were installed on the entry points outside the election’s place and a number of police contingents were seen alert for the security of the lawyers there.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif congratulated newly elected President Masood Chishti and other office-bearers of the bar. In a felicitation message, the chief minister expressed good wishes for office-bearers of LHC.

Judicial Activism Penal Chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique also congratulated the winning candidates.