LAHORE/RAWALPINDI - Returning Officer Chaudhry Badaruddin Thursday gave a go ahead to PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif to contesting by-election for a national assembly seat NA-123, Lahore by accepting his nomination papers. Nomination papers of Shahbaz Sharif were also accepted for PP-154 while Hamza Shahbaz and Capt (r) Safdar Mahmood had also been cleared to participate in the by-elections. They had filed their papers for NA-123 as covering candidate of Nawaz Sharif.  PPP candidate Aziz-ur-Rehman Chaan was also allowed to contest by-polls. The RO announced his decision after rejecting the objections filed by Nawaz's rival candidates Ikhlaq Guddu and Noor Elahi who had had challenged his eligibility due to his alleged involvement in the plane hijacking case in 2000. They raised the second objection against Nawaz Sharif that an accountability court had sentenced him to 14 years in jail besides debarring him from holding public office for 21 years in the helicopter tax evasion case. He further alleged that the PML-N leader was a defaulter of a consortium of banks. They also said another RO had rejected his papers on same grounds on December 3 last year. Nawaz's counsel Ashtar Ausaf argued that the petitioner had not produced any document in support of his objections and the earlier order passed by RO was not binding upon this office as the doctrine of "Res Judicata" is not applicable. It is to be recalled that in December Nawaz Sharif's nomination papers for NA-120 were rejected after accepting the same objections that had now been dismissed. Nawaz had not challenged that order in the LHC, as he does not recognise PCO judges. The legal experts said dismissal and acceptance of Nawaz's papers on same grounds had put a big question mark on the credibility and impartiality of the Election Commission. The RO in his decision had said that the petitioner neither submitted any document in support of his objections nor he even produced the order passed by earlier RO. "In the absence of any documentary evidence or supporting material I am unable to hold candidate as disqualified to contest by-elections. "It was the duty of objector to produce relevant documents to substantiate his objections but he failed to do so despite the fact he had sufficient time to do so," RO said in his order. However, Amir Rawn counsel of Noor Elahi claimed that no attested copies of documents were provided to RO at the time of rejection of Nawaz's papers on December 3. Rival candidates Ikhlaq Guddu of PML-Q and Noor Elahi had complained to the Election Commission, citing criminal convictions against Mr Sharif in two cases. The commission rejected their complaints. RO also turned down two other objections that Mr Nawaz was a bank defaulter and involved in an attack on Supreme Court building in 1997. His nomination papers are accepted because of non-availability of documentary proofs of objections," RO announced in his office. Amir Rawn, counsel for Noor Elahi pleaded that Mian Nawaz was not eligible to participate in election because he was awarded life term in a plane hijacking case by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi. Responding to this objection, Ashtar Ausaf, counsel for Nawaz said the then president Rafiq Tarar had pardoned Nawaz Sharif's all convictions and once a 'conviction' is pardoned it cannot be agitated before any forum. Rebutting it, Amir said, under Article 45 of the Constitution the President of Pakistan could only pardon the sentence, he has no power to pardon conviction. He was of the view that only an acquittal order by an appellate court could end the conviction. He also objected that Nawaz stood defaulter of banks of which he was one of the directors. Ashtar said the objector had placed no proof on record to show that former prime minister was director or had share in these companies. Commenting on the order Amir Rawn said he would challenge it before election tribunal comprising LHC judge. Soon after the decisions, PML-N activists who were gathered outside RO office started dancing and burst into chants Nawaz Sharif Zinda bad. They also distributed sweets among the people. Nawaz Sharif was ousted as a prime minister in a military coup in October 1999 and was convicted of hijacking a commercial airliner, sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to forfeit all his personal property. Sharif's crime was not, of course, an ordinary hijacking, at least as most of the world understands the term. No weapon was used. Mr Sharif was not even aboard the aircraft. His crime was to issue orders, which he later rescinded, telling ground control to refuse landing permission to a Karachi-bound airliner carrying General Pervez Musharraf, sending it out of the country. The plane, according to the pilot, then ran low on fuel, and the lives of everyone on board were endangered. In another case an accountability court at Attock Fort had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 14 years of hard labour, fined him $370,000, and disqualified him from politics for 21 years. The court had found Mr Sharif guilty of falsifying his tax returns by neglecting to list a newly purchased helicopter among his assets. Former anti-corruption chief Saif-ur Rehman, also charged in connection with the helicopter purchase, was acquitted. Meanwhile, the Returning Officers (ROs) of NA-52 Rawalpindi-III and PP-10 Rawalpindi-X accepted here Thursday nomination papers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and President Mian Shahbaz Sharif for June 26 by-elections and rejected all objections concerning their candidature.   According to the details, RO for the constituency NA-52 Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Rana Masood Akhtar rejected the objections raised by PML-Q Rawalpindi President Muhammad Nasir Raja who is also an aspirant for the upcoming by-polls for the said constituency. PML-Q candidate Raja Nasir alleged that Mian Nawaz Sharif had been convicted in the case relating to the October 12, 1999 incident when the airplane of the Army Chief was not allowed to land in Pakistan. The second objection was that he had been a defaulter and had not shown correct assets in his nomination application. The third objection raised against the nomination of Nawaz Sharif was that he had been maligning the superior judiciary in public. Chaudhry Farooq Haider the lawyer of the petitioner said he could produce a DVD containing derogatory remarks of Nawaz Sharif against the judiciary but the lawyer of PML-N Quaid, Ashtar Ausaf, said the DVDs could not be produced as evidence. Advocate Ashtar Ausaf said that the petitioner had submitted no documentary evidence in support of his objections and the conviction against his client had been suspended. The RO for PP-10 Mujahid Mustaqeem accepted the nomination papers of Mian Shahbaz Sharif while rejecting the objections raised by Shahid Majeed Orakzai and Malik Mehboob Illahi. The two had filed identical objections alleging that Shahbaz Sharif was found guilty of being involved in the attack on Supreme Court in 1997. They alleged, submitting a police inquiry report that the lunch for the attackers was arranged at Punjab House in Islamabad and the payment was made from the house of Chief Minister Punjab. In response to the objection, Sharifs' lawyer argued that Orakzai was neither a voter nor a candidate from PP 10 constituency and even the national identity card he submitted contained a name as Shah Majeed Orakzai showing a clear discrepancy. The petitioner has himself been convicted by Supreme Court in a contempt case, the lawyer said and showed the decision of the SC. The defence lawyer said the document presented to establish the link of Shahbaz Sharif with the mob attack on the SC building was only an inquiry report and the court had never even issued a notice to Shahbaz Sharif regarding the inquiry report. Meanwhile, the NA-52 RO accepted the nomination papers, among others, of Muhammad Nasir Raja, Captain (Retd) Safdar Mehmood, Malik Tabarak Hussain and Malik Waheed Awan. Those whose nomination papers were accepted by the RO for NA 55 Rawalpindi-VI Mukhtar Ahmed Ranjha include Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Aitzaz Ahsan, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Zafar Ali Shah, Raja Tariq Kiani, Ijaz Khan Jazzi, Amir Fida Paracha and former test cricketer Sarfaraz Nawaz. Those whose nominations were accepted from PP 10 include Malik Iftikhar, Haji Zafar Iqbal, Chaudhry Masood Akhtar and others.