LAHORE - A three-member full bench of the Lahore High Court Friday summoned attorney general of Pakistan for today (Saturday) to assist the court in resolving certain legal and constitutional questions raised by petitioners challenging Sharifs' eligibility to contest election, about the law under which Chief Election Commission of Pakistan had allowed PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif and party president Shahbaz Sharif to contest elections. The bench comprising Justice Fazal-e-Miran Chohan, Justice Hasnat Ahmad and Justice Ahsan Bhoon is hearing scores of identical constitutional petitions challenging the eligibility of Sharifs to take part in elections. Raza Kazim, the counsel for Khurram Shah, has argued that ECP had permitted Sharifs to participate in by-elections slated for June 26 under Representation of People Act 1976 after appellate tribunal failed to give a consensus verdict on appeals against acceptance of Sharifs' nomination papers by ROs. The counsel pointed out that certain sections of the said act were contrary to constitution and they are required to be struck down or amended. Khurram Shah has challenged Shahbaz's election from PP- 48 Bakhar while Noor Elahi had challenged Nawaz Sharif's eligibility to contest by-elections from NA-123, Lahore. The counsel said that the appellate election tribunal comprising two judges of LHC had failed to decide eligibility of Sharifs within specified time that was May 31 in this case. In that case the election appeals would deem to have been rejected under sub-section 6 of section 14, which is contrary to the constitutional provisions being of discriminatory nature, he said. The counsel pointed out that as per election schedule issued by ECP under sub-section 5 of section 14 May 31 was fixed as the last date to decide the appeals but the appellate tribunal failed to reach a consensus decision and pronounced a split verdict. He argued that as the ECP had power to issue election schedule, therefore, he had the discretionary power to make changes in it as well. He said, therefore, the ECP should have extended the last date of deciding appeals and constituted a three member appellate tribunal as the ECP had the power to do so under RPA, 1976. As Raza Kazam was extending his arguments, Ashtar Ausaq advocate stood up and addressed the court. He argued that what petitioner's counsel had argued, required interpretation of certain provisions of RPA, 1976 whether they are repugnant to constitution particularly article 25 and 27 that guarantee protection against discrimination. The court took Ashtar's arguments seriously despite the fact that he was representing none of Sharifs as the court was proceeding against them ex-parte after they refused to appear before the court. The court would now look into the question whether Election Commission of Pakistan could form a large tribunal in case of a split decision of two-member appellate tribunal within specified time as it had earlier happened in eligibility case of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. The ROs had accepted Sharifs nomination papers for different national and provincial assembly seats. Their opponent candidates have challenged ROs decisions before two member appellate tribunal. But two different tribunal failed to reach a consensus decision till May 31 and referred the matter to ECP. On the very next day, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on June 1st had cleared the way for Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif to contest the by-elections slated for 26 June. ECP had disposed of appeals, challenging the nomination of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif for by-elections on the ground that appellate tribunal failed to hand down judgment within the specified time. The chief election commissioner observed that no further action could be taken in the matter in view of sub-section (6) of Section 14 of Representation of the People Act, 1976. The sub-section reads: "An appeal not disposed of within the period specified in sub-section (5) shall be deemed to have been rejected." The orders passed by the appellate tribunals are final as per sub-section (5) of section 14 of the Representation of the People Act 1976 but it is a matter of common knowledge that the aggrieved candidates by and large resort to constitutional remedies and the controversies are finally set at rest by the high court or the Supreme Court. Anti-encroachments drive continues The staff of the Estate Management Directorate of Lahore Development Authority continued its anti-encroachments drive on Friday and demolished a number of illegally constructed structures on green belts and roadside, starting from Social Security Hospital to Thokar Niaz Beg on both sides of Multan Road. The LDA staff dismantled nine illegally set up animal fodder cutters and their adjacent rooms in this area. As many as seven restaurants and tandoors, seventeen temporary shops (khokhas) and two furniture show rooms were demolished during the operation. The staff also razed a number of 'tharas' and ladders constructed on the road.