LHC rejects Kamil Agha’s plea against ECP stay order

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Secretary General and Senator Kamil Agha faced a setback after the Lahore High Court on Tuesday turned down his petition against a stay order granted earlier by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against holding early election for the party’s head.

“Either the court should impose fine or you will withdraw your petition?” remarked Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC while addressing the counsel for petitioner.

Justice Karim observed that such baseless petition could not be entertained, observing that no time compulsion could be imposed on the ECP to decide any matter. “What will happen if time compulsion is imposed upon the courts someday,” the judge remarked.

Agha had submitted that party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s letter to the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker during the election for the provincial chief minister was based on illegal directives.

“The working committee had termed the directives of Chaudhry Shujaat a non-democratic act and decided to remove him from the slot,” said the petitioner in his petition.

Moreover, the petitioner had submitted that the ECP’s decision to bar intra-party election was illegal and asked the court to grant a stay order against the order of the commission and allow them to hold intra-party elections.

The petition came a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan retained Shujaat Hussain as the PML-Q president.

Shujaat Hussain had moved an application with the ECP to stop party elections.

Earlier, Barrister Umar Aslam in his argument before the ECP had said that Kamil Ali Agha, who is PML-Q Punjab secretary-general, chaired the party’s huddle illegally and announced intra-party elections.

“As per rules, the provincial office-bearer of any political party does not enjoy such right over the party’s chief and central secretary general,” he said.

He stated that intra-party elections were scheduled for August 10 without the permission of the party president and the secretary general.

Fida Hussnain is a correspondent covering judiciary, politics, business and health issues. He is also a feature writer and researcher with major work on freedom of press in Pakistan. He tweets @fidahassanain and can be reached at fidahassanain@gmail.com.

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