- Supreme Court hears Faisal Vawda’s lifetime disqualification case.
- CJ says ECP has authority to probe false affidavits.
- ECP has properly examined facts in Faisal Vawda case, says SC.
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial Tuesday termed Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution that imposes a lifetime ban of politicians a “draconian” law.
The chief justice made these remarks while a hearing a petition filed by PTI leader Faisal Vawda against his lifetime disqualification in a case pertaining to the submission of a false affidavit about his US nationality.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by CJ Umer Ata Bandial heard the case today.
“Article 62 (1)(f) is a draconian law and we will hear this case with caution and in detail,” the CJP said.
PTI’s Faisal Vawda filed a petition in the top court in February under Article 185(3) of the Constitution for leave to appeal against the order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) dated February 9 and the February 16 Islamabad High Court judgment.
Vawda had contended that the ECP order and the IHC judgment are arbitrary and without lawful authority and of no legal effect, adding that it is also contrary to the judgements of the apex court.
He prayed to the court to set aside the order of the ECP and the IHC.
In the appeal, the PTI leader pleaded that the ECP had cited no reason for invoking Article 62(1)(f) to disqualify him for life. The electoral body, it added, appears to be under an impression that any person disqualified under Article 63(1)(c) — for having dual nationality — could automatically be penalised under Article 62(1)(f).
When the SC bench took up the case today, Vawda’s counsel Waseem Sajjad said that his client contested polls in 2018 and after two years a petition was filed in the high court seeking his disqualification.
At this, the CJP said that the ECP has the authority to investigate a false affidavit submission, adding that even if the Supreme Court revokes the order, the facts would remain the same.
“The Election Commission has properly examined the facts in Faisal Vawda’s case, the only question here is whether the ECP can order disqualification for life or not.”
Later, the hearing was adjourned till October 6.
It is important to note that the apex court in April 2018 declared that the disqualification under 62(1)(f) would be for life.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tarin both are disqualified for life under the said article.
What is Article 62 (1) (f)?
Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution pertains to the qualification of members of Parliament and pertains to the terms ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’. However, it does not set a time limit for the duration of disqualification.
The article is stated below:
“A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless-
he is a citizen of Pakistan;
he is, in the case of the National Assembly, not less than twenty -five years of age and is enroled as a voter in any electoral roll in-
any part of Pakistan, for election to a general seat or a seat reserved for non-Muslims; and
any area in a Province from which she seeks membership for election to a seat reserved for women.
he is, in the case of Senate, not less than thirty years of age and is enrolled as a voter in any area in a Province or, as the case may be, the Federal Capital or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, from where he seeks membership;
he is of good character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions;
he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practises obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins ;
he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law;
he has not, after the establishment of Pakistan, worked against the integrity of the country or opposed the ideology of Pakistan.
The disqualifications specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) shall not apply to a person who is a non-Muslim, but such a person shall have good moral reputation.”
Three education board chairmen, several officers sacked in Sindh
KARACHI: Sindh caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqir Thursday approved the removal of three chairmen of education boards and ordered the sacking of several officers, Geo News reported, citing notifications from the CM House.
The interim chief executive removed the chairpersons of the Board of Intermediate Karachi, Sindh Technical Board, and Larkana boards. He also ordered the sacking of secretaries and controller examinations of BIEK, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, and Larkana boards.
Moreover, Larkana, Sukkur, Nawabshah, and Board of Secondary Education Karachi’s audit officers were also removed from their posts.
The Sindh government has also sought permission from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint new personnel to the now-vacant positions — as interim rulers need the body’s approval for hiring people.
In the letter addressed to the commission, the government has also said that in several education boards across the province, top posts are being operated on “stop-gap” arrangements and in order for these departments to function better, permanent appointments need to be made.
According to the notifications available with Geo News, Justice (retd) Baqir has removed BIEK Chairman Dr Prof Naseem Memon and appointed him as the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education Larkana’s (BISEL) chairman — where he will serve till June 30, 2024.
Zaheeruddin Bhutto, interim controller of examination of BIEK, was removed from his post effective immediately, while BIEK Secretary Kashif Siddiqui was also sacked — and he will return to his previous position.
Zahid Lakho, the audit officer of BIEK, was also stripped of his additional charge of the board’s secretary.
BISEL Chairman Sikandar Ali Miraj has also been removed with immediate effect, and he will be returning to his original post of Inspector of Instruction.
BISEL Controller Examination Nadeem Soomro has been removed from his position and directed to report to the Human Settlement and Social Housing Department.
On the instructions of the caretaker CM, Syed Aqash Shah was relieved of the charge of BISEL’s acting secretary.
Hyderabad board’s secretary Shaukat Khanzada was also removed from his post and directed to report to the college education department. Zahiruddin Sheikh, the audit officer of the Hyderabad board, has been sacked and asked to report to the board’s head office.
Ghulam Mustafa was removed from the post of BISEL’s audit officer and directed to report to the post of deputy controller.
Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Sukkur (BISES) Secretary Mohammad Salman has been removed and asked to report to the deputy secretary’s office. BISES Controller Examination Dr Abdul Fateh Mehr has been removed and asked to report to the secretary’s office.
The caretaker chief minister has also removed Ghulam Qadir Dharijo, the audit officer of BISES, and directed him to report to the chairman’s office.
Punjab to shut down school, colleges in Punjab’s smog-hit areas on Friday, Saturday
- Lahore, Gujranwala among cities hit by smog.
- Markets and restaurants to open for work at 3pm on Fri and Sat.
- Govt offices to remain open on Fri; will start work at 3pm on Sat.
LAHORE: All schools, colleges and universities will remain closed on Friday and Saturday, as Punjab on Thursday notified measures to curb smog across the province as it impacts the daily life of citizens.
Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi, who chaired a high-level meeting of the Punjab Cabinet Anti-Smog Committee today, announced the provincial government’s decision during a presser in Lahore.
The smog-hit cities include Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Kasur, Sheikupura, Hafizabad, Narowal, Nankana Sahib and Sialkot.
Markets and restaurants, he added, will open for work at 3pm on Friday and Saturday, while all kinds of businesses will have to be closed on Sunday.
“Markets can remain open till night. We don’t want anyone to suffer loss, but they will have to adjust according to the situation.”
CM Punjab said offices will remain operational on Friday but will open for work at 3pm on Saturday. These measures, the chief minister added, are being taken as Air Quality Index (AQI) levels are higher in the morning and decrease with time.
The government will also install towers to clear smog in Lahore for which, CM Punjab said, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed.
He added that the government will also provide electric bikes to 10,000 students on subsidy to curb the use of regular motorcycles which cause air pollution for which a committee has been formed to finalise suggestions. Meanwhile, government employees will also be provided e-bikes on lease.
CM Punjab said the government is considering measures for artificial rain if clouds approach Lahore on November 29.
However, that will only happen if a “specific kind of cloud” moves towards the city. The government has also decided to double the amount of water being sprinkled on the streets.
The chief minister said the main Mall Road on Sunday will only be open for bicycle users from morning till 5pm. Some of the measures, CM Naqvi said, have been taken symbolically, some are long-term, while others have been taken to break the peak of pollution in the city and province.
He also urged people to wear masks to protect their health.
Govt set to remove Islamabad IG, DC on ECP orders
- Govt says there’ll be no delay in expediting matter.
- ECP directed govt to remove IG, DC from posts.
- Khan was appointed as IG Islamabad by PDM govt.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to remove Islamabad Inspector General Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan and Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon from their posts following orders from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), The News reported on Wednesday.
The government also maintained that there would be no further delay in the matter. Dr Khan is a grade 20 officer, while Memon is serving at grade 19 in the Pakistan Administrative Service.
The government had earlier not promptly implemented the orders, despite the ECP’s directive on October 26, conveyed to the Secretary Establishment Division, urging the removal of both officials.
In a letter sent by the Election Commission to the Establishment Division, it was directed to remove the IG and the deputy commissioner from their posts, but the instructions were not implemented by the federal government.
But now there has been progress in this regard and the Ministry of Interior has written a letter to the Establishment Division to change them.
Dr Akbar Nasir Khan was appointed as the police chief of the capital city by the Shehbaz Sharif government on May 21, 2022. He was serving in the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) then.
In October last year, the IG Islamabad was embroiled in a graft issue after the Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab registered a case against him.
ACE Punjab summoned him multiple times, seeking a reply on corruption charges, accusing him of tampering with documents to award contracts and causing Rs30.5 million loss to the government. However, the IG Islamabad did not respond to the notices.
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