LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan, elected unopposed as Chairman from UC 107-Lahore in the recent local bodies’ election.

Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC announced the verdict he had reserved last week on the petition filed by Aziz Masood. The Judge observed that “the petitioner had not raised the objection against the respondent at the stage of scrutiny of papers therefore he had no right to put the objection on candidature at this stage.”

Earlier, the petitioner had filed an application to withdraw his petition against Mr. Hassan but the court did not allow him. The petitioner had argued in his petition that Hassaan elected as chairman from UC 107 as unopposed and he had held a public office as vice chairman of LDA and also got involved with local government administration by being a director of Lahore Waste Management Company.

Section 27 of the Local Government Act 2013 states that a person who is in the service of a statutory body controlled by a provincial government is not eligible to contest the election of local bodies before the lapse of two years, he argued. He also argued that the returning officer accepted the nomination papers of Hassaan without deciding his objection.

Advocate Rai Shahid Saleem Khan, counsel of Hassaan had submitted that the objection was not raised before the returning officer during scrutiny of the nomination papers. He said the petition was not maintainable as the petitioner is not a voter in the constituency therefore had no locus standi to file the petition. He said his appeal against acceptance of the nomination papers was also dismissed for being non maintainable and this petition is also not maintainable.

He said his client had no office of profit and the offices being mentioned by the petitioner were honorary in nature and he is not taking any perks and privileges from this office.

A law officer said that the returning officer was bound under the rules to hold summary proceedings on the objections raised against any candidate.