ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court dismissed on Tuesday Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed’s petition against postponement of the NA-60 poll.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar heard Rasheed’s plea but dismissed his arguments and ordered to delay the polling in the constituency.
However, the court accepted his petition for hearing for interpretation of the crucial legal points mentioned in it.
The court issued notices to the ECP and federal government before adjourning the hearing.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief, Sheikh Rasheed filed a petition in the apex court, challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone the elections in Rawalpindi’s constituency.
The electoral body had postponed polling after the arrest and disqualification of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Hanif Abbasi who was contesting against Rasheed and was sentenced in the ephedrine quota case last week.
After the issuance of notification by the ECP, the Pindiite moved Lahore High Court and sought to overturn the delay, however, the Rawalpindi bench did not entertain his plea.
Rasheed contended that they were prepared for the elections and so the practice should not be delayed owing to the imprisonment of Haneef Abbasi.
The firebrand leader stated in the petition that elections in the constituencies of Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar were not postponed when they were jailed in the Avenfield properties reference by the accountability court, earlier this month.
In his plea before the apex court, the firebrand leader has reiterated that all the preparations had been finalized for the polling and so the top court should set aside the verdict by the Lahore High Court, paving way for timely elections.
Abbasi Sent Behind Bars
A special court in Rawalpindi handed life-term to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi in a narcotics smuggling case on Saturday, acquitting seven others, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Abbasi, who was PML-N’s candidate in Rawalpindi, was immediately arrested from the courtroom after the verdict.
Judge Muhammad Akram Khan had reserved judgment in ephedrine case against Abbasi after his lawyer completed arguments in the court where the accused was also present.
A day earlier, the judge had rejected Abbasi’s plea to delay the trial’s deadline, noting that it has to follow orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Abbasi, who was contesting the upcoming election from NA-60 Rawalpindi against Sheikh Rasheed, faced charges of misusing 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine which he obtained for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010.
The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under various sections of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act.