RAWALPINDI  -  The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench on Monday dismissed the petition filed by Awami Muslim League President and candidate Sheikh Rashid Ahmed against postponement of general elections 2018 in the National Assembly constituency, NA-60 (Rawalpindi).

The apex court also upheld the decision of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of postponing the election in NA-60 it announced after conviction of PML-N candidate Muhammad Hanif Abbasi and awarding life imprisonment by a control of narcotics substances court in the Ephedrine case.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem took up the petition of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the candidate from NA-60, and rejected it after hearing the arguments of the lawyer of petitioner.

According to details, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed along with his lawyer reached the LHC Rawalpindi registry to file a petition against the ECP decision. He in the petition mentioned that election can only be postponed by a returning officer if one of the candidates passes away. He also stated the ECP had no right to postpone the elections for any other reason.

Opposing the petitioner, Sajjad Akbar Abbasi, the lawyer of Pakistan Falah Party candidate from NA-60 Rashid Gardezi, argued before the court that ECP had printed ballot papers by inserting name of a convicted candidate Muhammad Hanif Abbasi.

He also added what would happen if the elections were held in NA-60 and the people polled votes in favour of Hanif Abbasi in defiance of his disqualification. Sheikh Rashid’s lawyer told the court that the new ballot papers could be printed.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Muhajid Mustaqeem inquired about the possibility of printing of new ballot papers, at which the ECP lawyer said it would be a lengthy process and printing new ballot papers for more than 7,00,000 voters would take a lot of time. He told the court the ECP considered all the possibilities before reaching the decision of postponing general elections in NA-60.

After conclusion of arguments of all the parties, LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Mujahid Mustaqeem rejected the petition of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and upheld the decision of ECP of postponing the general elections in NA-60.

Earlier, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had also approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan where he said the LHC registrar had not marked his petition despite passage of five hours. Soon after Sheikh Rashid knocked the door of SCP, the LHC took up his petition for hearing.