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Raja Ashraf allowed to contest elections 2013

Raja Pervez Ashraf

Pakistan, Lahore News – The Lahore High court on Monday finally gave the green signal to former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervez Ashraf to contest the May 11 general election.

The court also cleared Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khwaja Asif and PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira to contest the polls.

A three-judge bench of the LHC, comprising Justice Ijazul Hassan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi , was hearing appeals filed by electoral candidates against disqualification of their nomination forms by returning officers.

A returning officer had earlier disqualified the former premier for “violating the principle of transparency”, a decision later endorsed by the election tribunal of the LHC.

“Admittedly the apex court has held in its judgment in the RPP case that all the government functionaries, including this candidate (Pervez Ashraf) while increasing down-payment from 7pc to 14pc, had prima facie, violated the principle of transparency,” the RO had observed.

However, Ashraf later filed an appeal against the decision, and his lawyers argued that a probe was being carried out in the RPP case on the directives of the Supreme Court.

Declaring the returning officers decision as null and void, the full LHC bench on Monday cleared the former premier to contest polls from the NA-51 seat.

The bench also set aside all reservations raised by returning officers against Kaira and Khawaja Asif.

The court instructed the complainants to proceed further by approaching the Election Commission.

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