ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court lawyer Azhar Siddique has moved a reference in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator-elect Ishaq Dar seeking his disqualification under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan on the grounds that Dar was declared a defaulter by the SC, back in the year 2018.
According to the reference, a three-judge SC bench headed by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar declared Dar as a defaulter in the case related to the appointment of Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi as Managing Director and Chairman Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV).
The court also held the then Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad responsible for Qasmi’s appointment and financial benefits he received.
As per the judgement, Rs 190.78 million spent in the form of salaries and perks granted to Qasmi. The court ordered Qasmi, Dar, Rasheed and Fawad to return the money.
“Qasmi will pay 50 percent of the amount while former ministers Pervaiz Rasheed and Ishaq Dar will pay 20 percent each and former principal secretary to the premier will pay 10 percent of the Rs 190.78 million,” the SC order stated.
In the reference against Dar, Advocate Azhar Siddique stated that he moved an application to Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani on the sixth of last month with regard to filing a reference in ECP for Dar’s disqualification on the basis that he was a defaulter in terms of Article 62 (g) and 63 (h), in view of the existing facts regarding non-payment of outstanding amount by Dar. However, more than a month went past but the chairman Senate did not take any action, according to the petitioner.
The reference requests the ECP to implement the relevant provisions of Articles 62 and 63 in accordance with SC judgement against Dar.
Article 62 (g) reads, “Qualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless: he has not been convicted for a crime involving moral turpitude or for giving false evidence.”
Article 63 (h) reads, “Disqualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if: - he has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction on a charge of corrupt practice, moral turpitude or misuse of power or authority under any law for the time being in force.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021