LAHORE/ISLAMABAD A three-member Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition, seeking disqualification of PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif as a candidate for NA-123 by-election. Upholding the decision of the Retuning Officer, the tribunal held that the petitioner Shahid Orakzai, a freelance journalist, had failed to provide evidence to substantiate his allegations against Nawaz Sharif. Orakzai had taken the plea that after 1993 general elections, Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif had struck an understanding with him under which he was assigned the task of purchasing the loyalties of seven National Assembly members hailing from FATA in the then Speakers election. They had promised to give Rs17.5 million to him and had paid Rs10.05 million in advance. He maintained that he had successfully completed the task and purchased loyalties of Haji Baroz Khan, Malik Bismillah Khan, Abdul Qayyum, Haji Arsalan Khan, Muhammad Zulfiqar, Muhammad Afzal and Haji Muhammad Shah Afridi. However, PML-N lost the Speakers election and the partys the then General Secretary, Sartaj Aziz alleged that the said seven MNAs had not cast votes in favour of PML-N candidate Gohar Ayub Khan. Later, Nawaz Sharif declined to pay remaining amount. Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif has withdrawn his nomination papers from NA-123. In Islamabad, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed LHC to decide the hearing for a plea seeking review of reissuance of schedule for by-election in NA-123 (Lahore-IV) within two weeks. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing the plea of Muhammad Ilayas Gujjar, a candidate from NA-123. Barrister Ahmad Raza Kasuri, counsel for the petitioner, requested the court that the election process in NA-123 might kindly be stayed till the decision of LHC to meet the ends of justice. The petitioner challenged the notification of Election Commission of Pakistan, which announced fresh election in the said constituency including the election schedule. He argued that the ECP violated Section 18 of Representation of People Act 1976. The petitioner also sought that the election process should be started from where it was stopped. Only six candidates should be allowed to contest election while 82 new applications should not be entertained submitted with ECL during the last months, he said, adding only polling day should be announced. The court remanded the case to the LHC with direction that case ruling be declared without being affected by the SC verdict delivered on January 11. The apex courts verdict said the process of elections should be started from the start, clarifying that the apex court verdict in NA-55, Rawalpindi, will be applicable on all the vacant seats in the state. The Chief Justice also ordered to accommodate fresh applications of the candidates who wanted to contest elections in the vacant seats of assemblies.