RAWALPINDI - A two-member Election Tribunal (ET) of Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench on Monday declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) proposed candidate from NA-71 Ayla Malik as ineligible to contest the bye-polls over submitting her fake intermediate degree before the Election Commission of Pakistan (CEC).

During hearing the petition, the ET LHC, comprising Justice Mamoon Rasheed and Justice Ayesha A Malik, laid down its verdict declaring Ayla Malik as inelegible for contesting the bye-polls.

Zameer Sheikh Advocate, the lawyer of the petitioner Ubaidullah Shadikhail, a PML-N candidate who has challenged the education credentials of Ayla, argued before the court the FA degree of the candidate was phony and this was also confirmed by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpinid (BISER) thorough a written reply.

He said that the degree owned by Ayla Malik was actually belonged to a male candidate Imdad Hussain, who too failed in the exam. Dr Babar Awan, representing Ayla Malik, opposed Zameer saying the court should summon evidences. However, Zameer said that it was not mandatory as per Article 85 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Act. After completion of arguments of both the sides, the ET of LHC declared Ayla Malik as ineligible for bye-polls, she was expected to contest from NA-71 on PTI ticket. It is pertinent to mention here that a probe was conducted after a PML-N candidate Ubaidullah Shadikhail brought Ayla Malik's credentials to the court's notice.

Meanwhile, the ET of LHC also termed Inam Ullah Khan Niazi, another candidate from Mianwali and cousin of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, ineligible for bye-polls for being a bank loan defaulter.