LAHORE - Pakistan Muslim League (N) Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif will not defend the petitions challenged against his candidatures from NA-123 and NA-52 in the election tribunal of Lahore High Court (LHC). Talking to TheNation on Friday, PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq said that his party chief has decided not to defend his candidature on the aforesaid NA constituencies before the election tribunal comprising the Lahore High Court (LHC) judges who took oath under the PCO on Nov 3, 2007. It may be recalled here that the PML-N chief had announced not to seek justice against the disqualification of his nomination papers for 18th February elections because he deemed the PCO judges unconstitutional having no legal position at all. Farooq further said that Nawaz Sharif would remain stuck to take the principled stance he adopted for the 18th February elections. The PML-N spokesman added that Election Commission had allowed Nawaz Sharif to contest the 2002 elections after accepting his nomination papers. But his papers were rejected in last general elections while now, despite EC cleared him to contest, his candidature has been challenged, he said questioning that "What is the logic in the matter that once a politician was allowed to contest elections but next time the same person denied this right without assigning any reason." It is pertinent to mention that last time the candidature of Nawaz Sharif was rejected on the charge that he was convicted in the plane hijacking and helicopter tax evasion cases. Sources revealed that if Nawaz Sharif gets out of race, his son-in-law, Capt (r) Safdar, will be the PML-N candidate for NA-52 Rawalpindi while Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman will contest for the NA-123 seat on the party ticket. Similarly, Shahbaz Sharif's candidature for PP-10 has also been challenged for allegedly concealing his assets. Last time Shahbaz Sharif was disqualified on the charges that he was a loan defaulter and absconder in the Sabzazar encounter case, which has now been quashed. When contacted, PML-N Punjab information secretary, Khawaja Hassan, said we would follow the wait and see policy until the court decision in this regard. According to the by-election schedule, the filing of appeals against acceptance and rejection of nomination will expire today (May 24) while last date for the decisions on these appeals is 31st May. Meanwhile, an election tribunal of the Lahore High Court is taking up on Saturday (today) two appeals, challenging the decision of returning officer, allowing PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif to contest by-election from NA-123, Lahore. The appellants are Mian Akhlaq Guddu, a PML-Q candidate for NA-123, and Noor Elahi, an independent candidate from the said constituency. Meanwhile, another tribunal is likely to hear two more appeals on Monday - one against Nawaz Sharif and other against Shahbaz Sharif's candidature. Nasir Raja has challenged the candidature of Nawaz from NA-52, Rawalpindi and Malik Mehboob Elahi of Shahbaz from PP-10, Rawalpindi. The appellants contended that Nawaz ditched the court by claiming that he was qualified to contest the election in line with Article 62 of the Constitution. Stating that the returning officers for NA-123 and NA-52 had rejected their objections to the nomination papers of Sharif, they argued that Sharif could not contest the election because of his conviction by an Anti-Terrorism Court of Karachi, which under section 402-B of the PPC read with section 7 of ATA had sentenced him to life imprisonment and fined him Rs 500,000. They maintained this conviction as well as the sentence was upheld by the appellate court in special criminal appeal. Besides, he was convicted by an accountability court, Attock Fort, in reference No 2 of 2002 decided in July 2007 under section 10 read with Section 9-A (V) of the NAB Ordinance; he was sentenced to 14 years RI and fined Rs 20 million, they said. The appellants submitted that accountability court had also declared Sharif disqualified for 21 years from seeking election or being elected, chosen, appointed as member or representative of any public office or any authority of the Local Government of Pakistan. The appellants said conviction of Sharif in both the cases, were still intact because these were not set aside by any court till date. Furthermore, they added, it was a settled law that only the sentence, awarding punishment was pardoned, reprieved, remitted, suspended or commuted but the conviction remained intact. They alleged that Sharif had been publicly propagating his biased opinion and acting prejudicial to the integrity of the judiciary, besides defaming and ridiculing the armed forces. They said Sharif was also a defaulter of consortium of National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Ltd, United Bank Ltd, Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan, Muslim Commercial Bank, PICIC Bank of Punjab and the first Punjab Mudarba. While challenging the acceptance of Shahbaz's nomination papers, the appellants said that he had passed sarcastic remarks against the judiciary while addressing a press conference at Sharif Medical Complex in April 2007. According to Article 63 (G)(1), a person who commits contempt of court could not contest elections whether he/she is convicted or not, the appellants said. They said the recording of that press conference was produced before the returning officers but they did not take any action on it. They further alleged that Shahbaz was also involved in the Supreme Court storming case so he should be barred from contesting by-election. They said it was unfair and illegal on the part of the ROs to reject their objections on the grounds that no documentary evidence was produced. They pleaded for declaring Nawaz and Shahbaz as disqualified for contesting by-elections.