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March 4, 2021

ECP to decide on Vawda disqualification plea: IHC

Top Story

March 4, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ruled that it could not disqualify Faisal Vawda, minister for Water Resources, as he had already resigned from his National Assembly seat and sent the matter to the ECP to decide.

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC heard the case filed through Barrister Jahangir Jadoon challenging the qualification of Faisal Vawda under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The court, in its 13-page order, said Faisal Vawda’s affidavit submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is “apparently false”. The court said there are consequences of submitting a false affidavit according to the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The IHC has sent the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide what to do about the PTI leader’s allegedly false affidavit.

Earlier, Faisal Vawda, who was the second MNA to cast his vote in the Senate elections on Wednesday, had informed the IHC that he has resigned from the National Assembly, with his stance submitted to the court soon after he polled his vote in the lower house of the parliament.

During the hearing, Vawda’s lawyer pleaded before the court that the petition has become ineffective after the resignation of his client from the National Assembly seat and prayed to the court to dispose of the case. He also submitted a copy of Vawda’s resignation to the court.

The petitioner’s counsel Jahangir Jadoon objected to the stance and stated that one remains a member of the parliament until his resignation is accepted by the authority concerned. He contended that Vawda resigned from the post after casting vote in Senate elections and when he was also a candidate in the polls. Jadoon argued that several members of the assembly resigned from their seats and joined the parliament again in the past. He alleged that Vawda had hidden information pertaining to his dual nationality and therefore he is neither Sadiq nor Ameen. Jadoon said Vawda was a US national until his nomination papers were accepted by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He said Vawda had surrendered dual nationality on June 25, while scrutiny of his documents by the ECP was completed on June 18.

After listening to arguments, the court reserved its judgment.

It may be mentioned here that on February 23, a tribunal of the Sindh High Court (SHC) had declared Vawda eligible to participate in Senate polls. The decision was announced by the court while hearing Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhail’s appeal against the approval of Vawda’s nomination papers for the polls.