A Pakistani court has dismissed two petitions seeking disqualification of former premier Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, from contesting elections.
A full bench of the Lahore High Court headed by Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Wednesday dismissed the petitions against the Sharif brothers.
In the case of Nawaz Sharif, the court said the petition was ineffective as election in the constituency for which he had filed nomination papers had already been held.
In the case of Shahbaz Sharif, the court dismissed the petition against him for non-prosecution.
Both petitions were filed by Shahid Orakzai, a freelance journalist, who had also approached the Supreme Court on the same issue.
The apex court had directed him to withdraw his petitions from the Lahore High Court. The High Court had summoned Orakzai but he did not appear before it.
Following this, the bench dismissed the petitions.
While challenging the eligibility of Nawaz Sharif to contest elections, Orakzai had alleged that the PML-N chief had sold plots of land worth millions of rupees and transferred money from the sale to foreign countries.
Orakzai also alleged that after the 1993 general election, Nawaz Sharif and other leaders of the PML-N had struck an verbal deal with him to give him Rs 17.5 million to "buy the loyalty" of seven parliamentarians of tribal areas for the speaker's election.
He also claimed the Sharif brothers had paid him Rs 10.05 million in advance and he "purchased the loyalties" of seven lawmakers but the PML-N lost the speaker's election and Nawaz Sharif declined to pay the remaining amount.
Orakzai had requested the court to summon Nawaz Sharif to seek an explanation on whether he had not negotiated the deal.
He said Nawaz Sharif had also concealed facts about criminal cases against him while filing nomination papers for elections to a parliamentary seat.
The petitioner had pleaded that Shahbaz Sharif won elections to a seat in the Punjab assembly and became Chief Minister.
Later, without resigning from that constituency, Shahbaz Sharif also contested elections from another seat in Rawalpindi and was elected unopposed but he later resigned from this constituency.
Orakzai pointed out that under Article 223(4) of the constitution, if a person is elected from a second constituency, the seat won earlier falls vacant.