LAHORE - The Lahore High Court has accepted the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) which challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan ban on the lawmakers to campaign for party candidates.

Justice Ayesha A Malik, while hearing the petition yesterday, issued a notice to ECP to submit written reply by today.

Shoaib Siddiqui of PTI had challenged the ban on parliamentarians to campaign for their party candidates and submitted the impugned notification was in sheer violation of the fundamental rights and norms of the democracy. He submitted that PTI chairman Imran Khan was a member of the National Assembly but could not visit the area of any political constituency, where by-elections were being held. “It is integral for an electoral campaign that the party leaders visit the constituencies and address the electorate and meet the party workers.

“But the impugned notification has stifled the electioneering plans of the political party by curbing its political activism, which is a core value of democracy.

“This restriction is absolutely unconstitutional and offends the fundamental rights.” Mr Siddiqui has pleaded the court to strike down the code announced by the ECP.

Plea against phase-vice LG polls dismissed: Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Lahore High Court yesterday dismissed petitions which had challenged the conduct of local bodies election in Punjab on phase vise. As hearing commenced, a law officer on behalf of the federal government appeared in the court and said that the Election Commission of Pakistan had shortage of staff while the law and order situation was also not in the favor of local bodies’ election at once.

The law officer said that the election of the Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa was an evidence of poor law and order situation which created panic the province on the Election Day. Advocate Munsif Awan of Justice Party, the petitioner’s counsel, had submitted that the petition and submitted that the phase-vise election schedule in those constituencies from where the candidates of the ruling party succeeded had been ignored.

He said but in the other constituencies from where the candidates of opponent parties succeeded, the phase-vise election schedule was announced there which was discriminatory and unlawful. The government wanted to back their candidates. The petitioner said that the phase-election of local bodies be set aside. After hearing both sides, Justice Ijazul Ashan of the LHC dismissed the petitions.

LHC moved against ETPB’s powers: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court challenging the powers of the chairman of Evacuee Property Trust Board. Arshad Chaudhary has filed the petition through his counsel Advocate Dr. Abdul Basit and alleged that Siddique Al-Farooq, Chairman of Evacuee Property Trust Board, is misusing his powers.

The petitioner says that members of the Board of Governors have the powers. He alleges Siddique Al-Farooq is doing new recruitments. The petitioner prays the court to restrain the Board’s chairman from making new recruitments.