IHC reserves verdict on Faisal Vawda's plea against disqualification decision

The Nation  |  Feb 16, 2022

Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday has reserved its verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda’s plea challenging Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict of disqualifying him for life.

During the hearing, Faisal Vawda’s counsel Waseem Sajjad argued that ECP is not court of law, therefore, the high court should annul its judgment. My client didn’t lie in affidavit deliberately. 

Meanwhile, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the lawyer about last date of affidavit submission over which, the Waseem Sajjad told that Faisal Vawda had submitted his affidavit on June 11, 2018. 

The court asked the plaintiff’s counsel to present facts why they are not accepting the decision of ECP.  

Previously, Faisal Vawda had challenged ECP’s verdict of disqualifying him for life in IHC.

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The former senator, in his petition, stated that the election commission has no jurisdiction to take disqualification decision. The judgment of ECP has no legal status, he mentioned.

Earlier, ECP had disqualified PTI’s Faisal Vawda for life over concealing his dual nationality at the time of participating in the National Assembly election on a Karachi seat during 2018 General Elections.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja announced its reserved verdict, directing the PTI leader to return the salary and other benefits he had received as a member of NA (MNA) within two months.

The commission had also declared the vote which Vawda had cast in the Senate elections on March 10 as MNA "invalid". Vawda had submitted a false affidavit with his nomination papers, ECP stated.

It is to be mentioned here that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Qadir Khan Mandokhail, Mian Faisal and Mian Asif Mehmood had filed a plea against Vawda, stating that he is no longer Sadiq and Ameen (truthful and trustworthy) as he concealed his dual citizenship and submitted a false affidavit in the ECP with his nomination papers.

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Talking to media after the hearing, Mandokhail said he emerged victorious in the case after visiting courts for nearly four years. ECP’s order to Vawda to return all benefits he had received as a parliamentarian is a good precedent, he added.

On January 20, an investigative report revealed that Faisal Vawda had committed perjury by falsely declaring in an oath to the ECP that he did not hold any foreign nationality.

Vawda was in possession of a United States passport at the time he filed his nomination papers on June 11, 2018. The minister remained an American national even at the time the scrutiny of his nomination papers was completed, the report found.

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