Friday September 29, 2023

ECP rejects PTI’s disqualification plea against Faryal Talpur

December 15, 2022

By our correspondents

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday rejected the disqualification petition by PTI MPAs against senior PPP leader Faryal Talpur, saying the petitioners were not able to make out a case of disqualification under Article 62 (1)(f) against her.

The three-member bench, headed by ECP member Shah Muhammad Jatoi and included Babar Hassan Bharwana and former Justice Ikram Ullah Khan, announced the 15-page reserved judgment here at the Election Commission Secretariat. PTI legislators, who had filed the petition are, Arsalan Taj and Rabia Azfar.

“We are also not persuaded to hold that respondent has declared her alleged properties after institution of application before the Speaker to evade her disqualification. Record shows that petitioners had filed the application before the Speaker on 22.06.2019 while relying upon the document submitted for the year 2017. It further transpires from the record available before us that respondent has declared her alleged properties in her Assets & Liabilities Forms for the year ending on 30th June, 2018 prior to institution of aforesaid application and also for the year ending on 30.06.2019. In such view of the matter, the question of concealment of alleged properties does not arise that too when the respondent had already declared her alleged third property for almost two financial years prior to filing of application by the respondent before the speaker,” the verdict says.

The bench also said, “Thus we are of the view that in order to ask the proceeding of disqualification against an elected member, allegation should be clothed with cogent material, which shall have to be proved by concrete evidence that are is lacking in the instant matter”.

The verdict also says, “Brief but relevant facts giving rise to instant matter are that initially the petitioners approached the Speaker, Provincial Assembly Sindh vide letter, dated 22 .06.2019 under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 thereby seeking disqualification of respondent on the ground of non-declaration of her assets. The said application was not answered within stipulated period of thirty days given in Article 63 (2) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. On 24.07.2022 petitioners filed instant petition seeking same relief of disqualification of respondent under Article 63(3} of the Constitution on the ground that the Speaker has failed to respondent within requisite time of 30 days”.

“The report vide letters, dated 31st July October, 2019 was sought by the office of Election Commission from the Speaker Provincial Assembly, Sindh. The letter was not responded, subsequently another letter, dated 3rd October, 2019 was written to Speaker seeking therein the report of matter of disqualification of respondent pending before him. In response thereof, Additional Secretary of Provincial Assembly, Sindh replied vide letter, dated 11.10.2019 with the observation therein that matter of disqualification of a member pertains to Election Commission of Pakistan. However, on 16.04.2019, Secretary, Provincial Assembly, Sindh in continuation of its earlier letter, dated 11.10.2019 responded with the inter alia observations that matter of disqualification of respondent is subjudice before honourable Sindh High Court Sindh vide C.P. No 4284 of 2018 due to which the Speaker, Provincial Assembly Sindh is of the view that he cannot entertain the application with further observation that in lieu of Article 63(3) of the Constitution, the Speaker is of the view that question of disqualification of Mrs. Faryal Talpur, MPA has not arisen thus, the matter be disposed of. Instant matter was fixed for regular hearing before commission but same was dismissed due to non-prosecution vide Order, dated 14.01.2020. On restoration application filed by the petitioners, said order was restored vide Order, dated 03.02.2020. The respondent filed an application for recalling the restoration order which was dismissed vide our order, dated 08.02.2021. The respondent being aggrieved challenged the order of Commission dated 08.02.2021 before Honourable Islamabad High Court Islamabad through Writ Petition No 1377 of 2021 titled Mrs. Faryal Talpur vs Arslan Taj and two others. The petition was dismissed by Honourable Islamabad High Court vide order dated 08.06.2021 with inter alia observation that no interference is required with well-reasoned order dated 08.02.2021, passed by the Commission”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) President Women’s Wing & Chairperson of Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Home, Faryal Talpur welcomed the dismissal of an application for her disqualification filed with the ECP by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The ECP had reserved its judgment on October 27 after arguments were completed on the filed application. Faryal Talpur called the ECPs rejection of PTI’s request a victory for the truth, and thanked the Almighty Allah on the dismissal of an application filed for the disqualification.

She also termed this success as a victory of the truth and that victory belonged to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and President Asif Ali Zardari including all Jiyalas who prayed for its dismissal and stood steadfast during this time. She said that the said case was a conspiracy to deprive the people of their real representatives which stands exposed and failed, adding that the false cases, jails and negative propaganda never weakened them before or could make them weak, come what may happens in the future.