LAHORE  -  A division of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday suspended decision of an election tribunal under which Fawad Chaudhry was disqualified, clearing the way for PTI’s central information secretary to contest upcoming general election from NA-67 (Jhelum).

Division bench led by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi suspended decision of the election tribunal.

On Wednesday, the tribunal comprising Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi had disqualified Chaudhry under Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution on an appeal moved by Syed Fakhar Haider.

However, Fawad Ch being aggrieved of the decision challenged it before the high court through a writ petition and pleaded the court to restore the decision of the returning officer accepting his nomination papers.

Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar represented the appellant arguing that the appellate tribunal acted beyond its jurisdiction by passing the impugned decision.

The counsel said that the returning officer accepted the nomination papers of the petitioner after thoroughly examining the same and rejected the objections raised by respondent Haider.

He further stated that the appellate tribunal had already turned down appeal of the respondent, holding that the respondent was not a competent person to move the appeal as he was neither a candidate nor objector. Tarar said Syed Fakhar Haider moved second appeal on same grounds before the same tribunal which allowed his appeal and rejected the nomination papers of his client.

He contended that the tribunal exercised an unlawful authority as it was not functioning as a constitutional court. He further argued that the tribunal issued the impugned decision while the petitioner was not given an opportunity of being heard.  He prayed the court to set aside the impugned decision of the tribunal for being unlawful and restore the order of the returning officer.

At this, the bench considered the points raised by the petitioner’s counsel and suspended the impugned decision of the tribunal. The court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to convey the order to legal director of the commission to do the needful. The bench also directed the ECP to submit reply on the petition and put off further hearing till July 3.

Later, talking to the reporters, Fawad Chaudhry commented on the decision of his disqualification and termed it ridiculous. He said the division bench of the high court delivered justice by suspending the tribunal’s decision.

Referring to PML-N, he said those who were distributing sweets on his disqualification would now be worried with the high court’s decision.