A legal challenge to the election of Birmingham's most popular councillor will be heard in November, it has been confirmed.
Defeated Lib Dem candidate Shamsur Rehman claims Labour's Ansar Ali Khan used spiritual influence to convince Muslim voters to back him in the council election in Washwood Heath in May.
Coun Khan, who has represented Washwood Heath since 2002, won the election with a 7,802-vote majority - the highest in Birmingham.
Election commissioner Timothy Straker QC will hear the trial in Birmingham with a likely start date of November 2.
Mr Straker previously sat as an election court judge in Birmingham in 2008 when he famously dismissed claims by Lib Dems against Labour over the 2007 election in Aston as "dishonest" and described evidence given by the then senior Lib Dem councillor and barrister Ayoub Khan as "scurrilous".
In this new case, Lib Dem politician Shamsur Rehman says Kashmiri Muslims in Washwood Heath were told it was their religious duty to vote for Ansar Ali Khan and he wants the election result declared void.
He is also claiming that undue foreign influence was brought to bear in the form of prominent Kashmiri politician barrister Sultan Mahmood who was a guest at a Labour rally in the ward designed to influence the Kashmiri community.
Mr Rehman intends to call Mr Mahmood as a witness at the trial.
Mr Rehman admitted: "This could bankrupt me. But I am doing it as a matter of principle."
Coun Khan is disputing the claims.
A Labour spokesman said: "This election petition is a series of vague and unsubstantiated allegations. Ansar Ali Khan is a long-standing and popular councillor.
"In the election in May, he won 9,200 votes, a majority of 7,805 over his nearest rival. Mr Khan will continue to actively work for all the electors of Washwood Heath."