MULTAN - An election tribunal disqualified PTI MNA Rai Hassan Nawaz for life from NA-162, Chichawatni, for concealing his assets here on Tuesday.

The tribunal also directed Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold by-election in the constituency within 90 days.

The decision came on an election petition filed by Rai Hassan Nawaz’s opponent Muhammad Ayub, an independent candidate and runner-up in 2013 general elections, who alleged that Rai Hassan Nawaz had concealed his assets while filing nomination papers, so he should be declared ineligible. The election tribunal found the allegation true after the hearing and disqualified Rai Hassan Nawaz.

A total of 11 candidates contested election from NA-162 constituency in 2013 and PTI’s Rai Hassan Nawaz won by securing 88,004 votes. PML-N-backed independent candidate, Muhammad Ayub, who moved the election tribunal after the election, stood runner-up with 75,430 votes.

The disqualification of Rai Hassan Nawaz is the third decision given by the tribunals on election petitions in the recent days. Earlier, Multan election tribunal disqualified former provincial minister Ch Abdul Waheed Arain while the Lahore election tribunal ordered re-election in NA-125 and PP-255.

It has been learnt reliably that Rai Hassan Nawaz is a defaulter of Rs 870 million. Currently, he is the PTI central Punjab president. He has been elected as an MPA four times and twice as the Sahiwal district nazim. He has also served as an adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Agencies add: According to a private TV channel, Hassan Nawaz owns assets worth Rs 870 million, including a petrol pump, a compressed natural gas pump, various properties, a series of stores at GT Road near his Multan residence, a 36-kanal property on the top of which Rai Iqbal Town is built and a Toyota Corolla car.

In addition, during his stint as managing director at Murtaza Haseeb Textile Mills Ltd, Nawaz took loans in the names of his servant and sister-in-law. Both claim they have taken no such loans.

Haji Muhammad Ayub had presented reports regarding Hassan Nawaz’s assets before the election tribunal. The proceedings of the case had commenced soon after the election, but Hasan Nawaz did not attend hearings due to his poor health.

The tribunal ordered re-election within 90 days for the seat. The decision follows in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision restoring Saad Rafique as an MNA, who had earlier been unseated by the election tribunal from his NA-125 seat over rigging.