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August 11, 2018

ECP told to file comments on plea seeking Vawda’s disqualification


August 11, 2018

The Sindh High Court on Friday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to file comments on a petition seeking the disqualification of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s MNA-elect Mohammad Faisal Vawda for allegedly concealing details of properties abroad.

Qadir Khan Mandokhel submitted in the petition that Vawda, who has been elected MNA in National Assembly constituency NA-249, submitted a false declaration with regard to his assets and properties, US nationality and bank loans while filing the nomination papers before the returning officer. He alleged that Vawda was still US national and he did not surrender his nationality, contending that his objection was not considered properly by the returning officer when the objection was raised at the time of the filing of the nomination papers. He stated that the PTI candidate concealed financial assistance of approximate Rs40 million he obtained from the former Royal Bank of Scotland in 2000s for the purpose of purchasing a 2,033-square yard bungalow in DHA Phase V.

Besides, the petitioner said, he failed to provide money trail for the purchase of his properties abroad. He submitted that the respondent failed to provide the details of the mortgage loan obtained from UK and Malaysian banks and also concealed the description of moveable properties and did not provide documentary evidence. The petitioner further alleged that the PTI candidate despite having more than Rs130 million assets did not pay a single penny in taxes and concealed facts from the Federal Board of Revenue. He added that due to the concealment of certain facts from the election commission, the PTI MNA-elect did not fulfil the mandatory requirements of Article 62 of the constitution for becoming an eligible member of parliament and he may be declared disqualified as a member of the parliament.

To a court query to the counsel for the Election Commission of Pakistan with regard to the Federal Investigation Agency’s list of candidates of dual nationality circulated to the returning officers, he sought time to file comments on whether or not the name of the respondent was included in the list. A division bench of the high court, headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, directed the ECP counsel to file comments on the petition and adjourned the hearing till August 30.

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