LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday ruled that the nomination papers of candidates cannot be rejected if they have proposers/seconders from other wards.

A number of petitioners have filed the petitions and had challenged the decisions of the ROs and appellate forums.

Justice Ibad-ur-Rehman Lodhi of the LHC passed the order. The judge, in his judgment, had written that the nomination papers of all the duly qualified persons /candidates were rejected only on the ground that, their proposers or seconders, were not the voters of the relevant Wards and appeals filed there-against were also dismissed.

The judge said that “Section 27 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2013, which provides qualifications and disqualifications for candidates and elected members, does not contain any embargo or his proposal or secondment as to the candidature by the persons, who must be the voters of the relevant “ward”, the order said.

The order said, according to Rule 12 (2) of Punjab Local Government (conduct of Elections ), any voter of “a Union Council or Ward” may propose or second the name of any duly qualified person to be a candidate for an election of a member or as the case may be, the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of a Union Council.

The word “or” figuring in between “Union Council” and “Ward” is of much significance, the judge said. In view of the principles of interpretation, word “or” is commonly and ordinarily used in disjunctive sense, he said.

The judge pointed out that “Firstly, the returning officers and then the appellate authorities also fell in error while not appreciating the real spirit and legislative intent in providing at least two entities in which either of any one can be adopted to adjudge the qualification of proposer or seconder to hold such valid position on showing their inclusion as voters in either the Union Council or the Ward and, thus, rejection of nomination papers of the petitioners is an act, which is not supported by any law and, therefore, is not sustainable.”

Justice Lodhi allowed the writ petitions and appeals and seta side the impugned orders. The Judge also allowed the nomination papers, respectively filed by the petitioners in concerned constituencies.

Notices to FIA, SHO in harassment case: The Lahore High Court yesterday issued notices to Station House Officer of Liaqatabad police station and Federal Investigation Agency in a petition filed by a PTI candidate for UC-226 for harassing him and forcing him to withdraw his candidature.

Anjum Yaqoob Masih, a PTI candidate for chairmanship of UC—226 of Liaqatabad, had filed the petition and pointed out that he was contesting election against the ruling party’s candidate.

Reply sought from Nepra in plea against GIDC: The Lahore High Court yesterday sought reply from the National Electric Power and Regulatory Authority (Nepra) by October 21 in a petition challenging collection of Rs11 billion from the electricity consumers.

Judicial Activism Penal had filed the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique and pointed out that the federal government and Nepra had collected Rs11 billion under the head of ‘Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) from the electricity consumers.

The petitioner submitted that the Nepra had to collect this amount from the power generating and distribution companies but it had charged from the general public.

More than 50 percent taxes were being charged from the consumers, he said. He said the federal government and Nepra were unanimously doing this illegal act.

The petitioner prayed the court to stop Nepra from collecting tax under GIDC. At this, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Ayesha A Malik sought reply from Nepra.

The bench also allowed the six power generating companies to become party in the case.

Meanwhile, the LHC ordered Chiniot District Coordination Officer to release a youth detained allegedly involved in spreading hate and violence.

A woman had filed the petition and challenged the detention of her son Osama Rahim. The petitioner-lady pointed out that the DCO issued detention order of her son at the behest of their rivals.

She submitted that her son was under illegal detention and the police could not establish charges against him. The law officer and the district administration also failed to convince the court about the youth’s detention.

After hearing both sides, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Shahid Hameed Dar set aside the detention order and released the man.