ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court turned former leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Faisal Vawda’s disqualification from lifetime to one term for submitting a false affidavit in a dual nationality case.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Bandial, on Friday, heard an appeal of PTI’s former senator Faisal Vawda, against the verdicts of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), disqualifying him for life under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
The bench set aside the ECP’s earlier decision of lifetime disqualification for the ex-senator, and disqualified him under Article 63(1)(c) for the current term. The bench had summoned Vawda to regret and admit that he misstated before the apex and the high courts about his dual nationality.
The chief justice said: “If Faisal Vawda admits and regrets that he misstated before the High Court about his dual nationality and before the Supreme Court he relied upon his cancelled passport to show that had renounced the US nationality well before. If he does this then will be disqualified under Article 63(1)(c), but if he contests his case then he could be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.” Justice Bandial had also said; “there was enough material before the court that proved that Vawda gave a false affidavit.”
During the proceeding, Justice Mansoor asked Vawda about the dates of the issuance of the renunciation certificate and his resignation from the National Assembly (NA). The former PTI leader said that the certificate was issued on June 25, 2018, while he vacated his NA seat on March 30, 2021.
The chief justice remarked: “You remained a member of the NA for three years.” He said the court did not intend to summon and embarrass him “but you misled everyone for three years”.
The CJP directed him to apologise before the court and say that he was resigning as a senator.
“If you apologise and resign with good intent, the disqualification will be for five years. Otherwise, proceedings under Article 62(1)(f) will be carried out,” the CJP told Vawda.
Vawda then submitted that he was tendering an “unconditional apology”. He also said he did not intend to give a false statement and would accept the court’s decision.
The court order said; “he (Vawda) regrets and accepts that he stands disqualified from the term of the assembly until 2023.” The order further said although Vawda was elected as a senator in 2021, in order to demonstrate good faith, he was resigning from the Senate seat until the period of his disqualification expired. “In view of the said statement, the petitioner has submitted his signed apology.” The court directed Vawda to submit his resignation to the Senate chairperson and concluded that he was qualified to contest the next general or Senate elections.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022