The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday turned down plea of the PTI Senator Faisal Vawda who has urged the court to grant stay order over proceedings of the disqualification case against him in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Invoking the IHC jurisdiction in the matter on Thursday Senator Faisal Vawda has challenged the ECP decision to adjudicate his disqualification case as the Commission rejected his application to stop the proceedings in the matter.
Senator Vawda termed the case against him before the ECP as invalid on the grounds that the Commission has failed to decide the matter within statutory time limit saying the ECP was bound to decide the complaints within 60 days after he was elected. He prayed the court to turn down the ECP decision.
It is pertinent to mention that a citizen, Dost Ali, had filed an application before the ECP against Vawda, seeking his disqualification over concealing information pertaining to his dual nationality. The applicant argued that since Vawda had furnished an affidavit to the ECP to the effect that he was not a national of any other country at the time of contesting the elections, he had made a false statement on oath, hence he was disqualified under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution.
On Thursday, a two-member bench of the ECP comprising Nisar Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi granted last opportunity to PTI law maker Faisal Vawda in the disqualification case saying final arguments will now be held at the next hearing.
Challenging the ECP order, counsel for Vawda appeared before the single member bench of the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah in the matter on Friday and requested the court to reject the ECP order against his client saying the ECP had to decide the application against the senator within 60 days of him being elected and thus the petition against Vawda was overdue and should be declared invalid.
Responding to the court query during the proceedings, the counsel submitted that under the provisions of The Elections Act, 2017 the ECP was bound to make a decision within 60 days.
To which the CJ observed an application had been filed against Vawda within 60 days and called upon the senator to prove his innocence and let the ECP take action in accordance with the law if he was in the clear.
Addressing the counsel for Senator Vawda the CJ observed let the ECP hear the case, adding whether the issue was not challenged in 60 days and how many times the ECP was requested to adjourn the hearing.
The court directed the ECP to complete its report on the matter within 60 days amid asking Vawda to fully cooperate with the Commission.
After brief hearing of the matter, the bench didn’t agree with the arguments of the Vawda’ counsel and rejected the plea on the grounds of maintainability.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org