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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda on Tuesday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging his disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for concealing his dual nationality.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah will hear Vawda’s petition today (Wednesday).

Vawda filed the petition through advocate Waseem Sajjad and cited the ECP, Mian Asif Mehmood advocate, Qadir Khan Mandokhail, Mian Muhammed Faisal, and Dost Ali Jessar as respondents.

He challenged the decision of the ECP and adopted before the IHC that he had been disqualified by the ECP under article 63(1) (f) without fulfilling the constitutional requirements.

He also stated that the ECP announced its verdict without listening to his point of view, and requested the IHC to nullify the ECP’s decision regarding his disqualification.

Vawda said that respondents 2 to 4 moved applications before the ECP seeking disqualification of the petitioner from his membership of the National Assembly on the ground that he was a dual national on the date, he filed his nomination paper, i.e., 11.06.2018 and was thus, disqualified in terms of Article 62(1)(c) of the Constitution. He added that the respondent No5 filed an application for disqualification of the petitioner from membership of the Senate on the same grounds after he lost election to the Senate in March 2021.

He mentioned that in the judgment of IHC dated 03.03.2021 in a petition against him, the judge in particular noted the judgment of the Supreme Court reported as Allah Dino Khan Bhayo (PL.D 2020 SC 591) in which the Supreme Court had held that a disqualification under Article 62(1)(A) of the Constitution can only be imposed by or under a declaration made by a court of law and that by such prescription Article 62(1)(f) creates lawful transparent and fair mechanism for an election candidate to contest an allegation that he is disqualified under one or more of the grounds listed in the said constitutional provision.

He continued that the Supreme Court also observed that disqualification of a person under Article 62(1)(1) of the constitution must be based on oral or documentary evidence and that such a restriction is implicit in Article 10A of the Constitution, which makes both the processes and fair trial a fundamental right in lawful judicial proceedings.

The petitioner said that against this background the applications by respondents No2 to 5 were taken up by the ECP and by order dated 9 February 2022, the ECP has accepted all these petitions.

He contended that it was repeatedly urged before the ECP that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the applications for disqualifications of the petitioner inter alia on the ground that it was not a court of law and the petitioner had already resigned as a member of the National Assembly. Moreover, he did not make any deliberate false statement before the Commission, while applications were also moved to prevent the Commission from proceeding in the matter.

The PTI leader maintained that the ECP has no jurisdiction to debar a person for life and passed drastic orders against the petitioner depriving him of his seat in the Senate of Pakistan. He prayed that the orders of the ECP dated 9 February 2022 may kindly be set aside and these be declared to be without jurisdiction and of no legal effect.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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