ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday turned down an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur challenging a single bench’s verdict, wherein, it had rejected her petition seeking to quash disqualification case against her in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Babar Sattar dismissed the petition after hearing the arguments of all the parties and maintained the single bench’s verdict in this matter.
Talpur filed the ICA through her counsel Farooq H Naek and prayed to the court to set aside the single bench’s judgment and restore her main petition.
In this regard, a single bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah had dismissed the petition filed by Faryal Talpur and noted in the verdict that this Court is satisfied that no interference is required with the well-reasoned order, dated 08-02-2021, passed by the ECP and, therefore, the petition is accordingly dismissed.
Justice Minallah also observed that it is an admitted position that the joint petition filed by the respondents was dismissed for non-prosecution vide order dated 14-01-2020 and on the said date a written reply was filed on behalf of the petitioner.
However, neither the respondents nor an authorised representative were present and, therefore, the joint application/petition was dismissed for non-prosecution vide order dated 14-01- 2020.
According to the IHC bench’s judgment, the petitioner herself had approached the Commission seeking recalling of the order dated 14-01-2020.
She had, therefore, created an opportunity for herself to raise all the grounds necessary to support her prayer regarding recalling of the order, dated 14-01-2021. It is obvious from the impugned order, dated 08-02-2021, that proper opportunity of hearing was afforded by a Bench of the Commission consisting five learned members.
In her ICA, Talpur adopted that the said order of IHC dated June 8 is bad in law as well as on facts.
She added that this order is in complete ignorance of judgments of the superior courts and it is in complete negation of Civil Procedure Code.
She continued that the IHC single bench was passed without considering the fact that the ECP order dated February 3, 2020 was passed without having notice served at the appellant as required by law and this is against principles of natural justice.
The PPP leader contended that the IHC bench completely ignored that a case once dismissed under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 cannot be restored without mandatory notice to the parties, which in this case was not given to the appellant.
In her petition, the petitioner’s lawyer had contended that the ECP had opened the disqualification case against Talpur on the applications of MPAs Arslan Taj and Rabia Azfar.
The ECP had already dismissed this case due to non-pursuance by the complainants, he added.
The petition prayed to the court to declare the ECP decision dated February 8, as null and void, and stopped its proceedings against his client’s disqualification.
The petitioner said political opponents were fabricating baseless cases against her as she is the sister of a former president.
Talpur said the two MPAs had moved applications to Sindh Assembly speaker, which were dismissed later. She added that the ECP had no authority to hear the case against the speaker’s decision.
The two PTI leaders, Arsalan Taj and Rabia Azfar, had moved the petition in the ECP seeking disqualification of Talpur as member of the provincial assembly over allegedly concealing her assets.
They stated that the Pakistan People’s Party leader should be disqualified under Article 62 of the Constitution as she failed to declare details of her assets before the ECP, which means she is no longer “Sadiq and Ameen”.
Faryal Talpur owned properties in Larkana and Shahdadkot, the petitioner claimed.
They added that Talpur had been nominated in a case pertaining to billions of rupees corruption through “fake” bank accounts.
They pleaded that she should be disqualified as a member of the Sindh Assembly.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021