Vawda’s case against ECP jurisdiction dismissed – Journal


ISLAMABAD: The High Court of Islamabad (IHC) on Friday rejected a request by Senator Faisal Vawda of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ruling challenging the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) investigation into a matter relating to his disqualification.

Written by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, the High Court, when considering the petition, expressed the hope that the ECP would conclude its proceedings promptly with due diligence, preferably within 60 days from the date of receipt of the certified copy of this order.

In his petition, the former Minister of Water Resources urged the High Court to declare that the ECP lacks jurisdiction to grant a petition from Pakistani People’s Party worker Dost Ali Jessar asking for his disqualification. The senator also challenged the Oct. 12 interim order of the ECP which dismissed his plea to end the proceedings against him.

Mr. Jessar accused Senator Vawda of concealing his dual nationality when filing his candidacy documents for the 2018 general elections and thus submitted a “false affidavit” as a candidate for the seat of the National Assembly from Karachi. After being a member of the lower house of parliament for about three years, Mr. Vawda became a senator.

IHC warns Senator’s failure to participate in ECP inquiry in affidavit amounts to frustrating implementation of SC order

In its order, the IHC said that the completion of the investigation into the falsity or otherwise of the affidavit submitted by Mr. Vawda was “mandatory” in light of an earlier Pakistan Supreme Court directive requiring that all candidates to the Provincial Assemblies provide an affidavit with their nomination papers and that failure to file such an affidavit would render nominations incomplete and subject to rejection.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, if an affidavit or part of it is found to be false, the consequences provided by the Constitution and the law will also result in a sanction as if a false affidavit were filed in the Supreme Court. After his election, Mr. Vawda provided his affidavit.

The High Court explained that the power and jurisdiction of ECP to investigate the contents of a statement made by a candidate in his affidavit flowed from the instructions of the SC. Any investigation into the falsity of the affidavit was and continued to be an “obligation” of ECP in accordance with the instructions given by the Supreme Court, he said.

If the PCE came to the conclusion that the affidavit contained a false statement, the commission was responsible for ensuring that the consequences contemplated by the Constitution and the law ensued, according to the order.

The IHC also reminded the petitioner that the High Court, in its judgment of 3 March 2021 in the case of Mian Mohammad Faisal v Fesal Vawda, had also ruled that the issue of providing a false affidavit should be considered by the IHC. ‘ECP and that the committee could issue appropriate opinions. order.

Since this ordinance was never challenged, it served its purpose, the High Court observed, adding that it was not a simple case of forfeiture under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, as whether the investigation concluded that the affidavit and contents were false. , serious consequences would follow.

The order explained that neither the ECP nor the high court had the power or jurisdiction to interfere with the unambiguous instructions of the Supreme Court and therefore the power of the ECP to investigate the falsity was given to it. conferred in accordance with the instructions of the Supreme Court. Thus, arguments made by counsel representing Mr. Vawda that the ECP lacked jurisdiction under the 2017 election law were “ill-conceived,” the ordinance said.

The court expressed the hope that the petitioner would establish his good faith by participating in the proceedings before the PCE regarding the affidavit investigation, failing which it would amount to an attempt to unambiguously thwart the enforcement of the orders. of the CS.

Posted in Dawn, le 13 November 2021


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