AJK HC allows Masood Khan to contest Presidential election

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MUZAFFARABAD, Aug 9 (APP): A larger bench of the High Court (HC) of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Tuesday allowed former Pakistan’s envoy at United Nations Masood Abdullah Khan to contest AJK’s Presidential election to be held on 16th of this month.
He was nominated by Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) as its candidate for Presidential election but he was not qualifying to be a candidate as his name was not included in AJK’s electoral rolls.
His application for inclusion of name in the electoral roll was rejected by the Registration officer (RO) Poonch on the ground that the specific time for inclusion of names in the electoral rolls was gone and a subsequent appeal against this decision was return back by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on the ground that the CEC had no powers to reverse the judgement of RO.
He then filed a writ petition in the High Court through his Counsel Raja Muhammad Hanif pleading that he was a state Subject holder (first class citizen of AJK) and can,t be deprived of contesting Presidential elections on a mere technical ground and such provision of the law was discriminatory and against the fundamental rights.
The larger bench comprising Justice M Tabasam Aftab Alvi, Justice Azhar Saleem Babar and Justice Raja Sadaqat while accepting the writ petition directed Registration Officer (RO) Poonch to include his name in the electoral rolls provisionally till the final disposal of the petition to remove obstacle for being disqualifying to contest elections.
The bench also suspended RO’s judgement and the subsequent order of CEC of returning back his appeal against that Judgement and accepted the writ petition for regular hearing.