LAHORE: Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday dismissed as not maintainable a petition moved on behalf of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking disqualification of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Judge accepted the objection raised by the Punjab government that LHC was not an appropriate forum for disqualification of a chief minister under articles 62 and 63 of the constitution. The petition was filed under Article 199 of the constitution, making Shahbaz Sharif and Election Commission of Pakistan respondents. Petitioner’s counsel Dr Babar Awan had submitted that Shahbaz Sharif stood disqualified for many reasons. He alleged that Shahbaz preferred his personal interest over the national interest by abuse of his influence and through his official conduct as well as by misuse of his official position. He said that Shahbaz, while holding office of Punjab chief minister, was also running his personal business which rendered him disqualified to hold a public office as it was a violation of the oath for the office of the chief minister. He submitted that Shahbaz Sharif gave gifts of Rs 6 billion to his brother Nawaz Sharif, who is also prime minister of the country, but failed to provide money trail of this huge amount. He said that the JIT had already held that Sharif family’s assets did not match their declared sources of income. The counsel alleged that Shahbaz Sharif misused his public office for establishing his family-owned sugar mills without approval of the environment department. Counsel for Punjab government raised objection on maintainability of the petition. After conclusion of the arguments, the judge dismissed the petition as non-maintainable. Published in Daily Times, July 19th , 2017.