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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday noted that prima facie an affidavit filed by Federal Minister Faisal Vawda before the Election Commission of Pakistan “is false, and there are consequences of submitting a false affidavit”.

The IHC, in a reserved judgment, said it could not disqualify Faisal Vawda as he has already resigned from his National Assembly seat.

A single-member bench of Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition moved by Barrister Jahangir Jadoon against the leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) for allegedly concealing his US nationality at the time of filing his nomination papers to contest the 2018 general elections.

Justice Aamer Farooq announced verdict which the court had reserved after Vawda submitted his resignation from the National Assembly before the court.

The bench sent the matter of filing a “false” affidavit to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

It added that the ECP should investigate and decide the matter related to the PTI leader’s purportedly false affidavit.

In its 13-page judgment, the IHC bench declared: “prima facie the affidavit is false”.

It continued that according to the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, there are consequences of submitting a false affidavit.

Justice Farooq noted in the verdict, “However, the question of false affidavit still is pertinent as was argued by the learned counsel for the petitioner.”

He added that in the Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan, Islamabad and others v Habib Akram and others, the Supreme Court of Pakistan clearly observed that furnishing a false affidavit “shall have consequences.”

The judgment read, “In this behalf, prima facie the affidavit is false; however, under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution if someone is to be held as not being Sadiq and Ameen a declaration has to be made to the effect by Court of law.”

The bench also mentioned that “moreover, the furnishing and tendering false affidavit also has consequences under Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 as well as in light of the observations of the apex court”.

The IHC bench stated: “Since the affidavits were tendered before the Election Commission of Pakistan it is just and proper that the Election Commission of Pakistan probes into the matter of veracity of affidavit furnished by respondent No 1 on 11.06.2018 and if same is found to be false to stipulate the effect thereof pursuant to observations made in PLD 2020 SC 591 supra.”

It further said, “In view of the foregoing, since respondent No 1 has resigned as Member National Assembly no writ of quo warranto can be issued with respect to holding dual nationality. However, the matter of furnishing false affidavit is to be probed by the Election Commission of Pakistan since the same was submitted before it and the Commission may pass appropriate orders with respect to the same.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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