ECP reserves verdict on petition about Dar’s Senate seat

The Nation  |  Sep 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD    -   Since Ishaq Dar is set to assume charge of finance minister, the ECP has reserved verdict over a peti­tion seeking to declare former finance minister’s Senate seat “vacant” over his failure to take oath as a Senator. A lawmaker has to take oath as Senator within two months of the election. Former Finance Minister Ishaq Daq was elected to the Senate from Punjab but could not administer a oath as he left for London in 2017 on medical ground.

He has been declared a proclaimed offender in a corruption case registered by accountability body [NAB]. A couple of days before, the accountability court suspended the arrest warrants of Ishaq Dar till October 7.

In Monday’s hearing, PML-N’s counsel informed the court that his client’s victory notification as Senator was issued on March 9, 2018. The ECP withdrew a notification of Ishaq Dar’s election as a senator on March 29, 2018. A petition, moved by PPP’s Nawazish Pirzada, had requested the apex court to suspend the Lahore High Court judgment allowing Dar to contest the Senate elections.

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“On January 10, 2022, Ishaq Dar was reinstat­ed to the Senate by the ECP,” the lawyer said and asked how could his client take oath as a senator when his victory’s notification was suspended by the election body. “The ordinance about 60 days for taking oath does not apply on his client,” ar­gued Dar’s counsel.

“The ordinance lapsed after completing its con­stitutional life,” the lawyer argued, adding that a member cannot be disqualified if he does not take oath even for 5 years.The provision of disqualifi­cation for not taking the oath within 2 months has been removed from the election act, he clarified

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