September 20, 2012

SC admits plea against MPs dual nationality

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) delivered the short order on the petitions challenging dual nationality of lawmakers on Thursday, according to which all members of parliament holding dual nationality have been disqualified. 

The case was heard by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and included Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.
The court had reserved the judgment on September 18.
This petition against dual nationality was filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution asking for the disqualification of the parliamentarians having dual citizenship in terms of Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution read with section 14 of the Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951.
The provisions of Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution states:
“A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State”.
The SC’s order stated that the parliamentarians have to submit a declaration before the elections and if the same turns out to be false, he makes himself liable to be disqualified from being elected or chosen as Member Parliament or a Provincial Assembly for making misstatement or concealment of fact, and also exposes himself to criminal proceedings contemplated under sections 193, 196, 197, 198 and 199 PPC.
The following parliamentarians were accused of having dual citizenships:
1. Rehman Malik, Senator
2. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Senator
3. Sabir Ali Baloch, Senator
4. Ch. Zahid Iqbal, MNA
5. Ch. Iftikhar Nazir, MNA
6. Farah Naz Isfahani, MNA
7. Farhat Mehmood Khan, MNA
8. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, MNA
9. Anusha Rehman, MNA
10. Jamil Ahmad Malik, MNA
11. Sardar Shahjehan Yousaf, MNA
12. Muhammad Akhlaq, MPA
13. Tariq Mehmood Alloana, MPA
14. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Chohan, MPA
15. Nadia Gabol, MPA
16. Ch. Waseem Qadir, MPA
17. Ch. Nadeem Khadim, MPA
18. Amna Buttar, MPA
19. Dr. Ahmad Ali Shah, MPA
The short order stated that Senator Rehman Malik, at the time of filing of nomination papers for election to the Senate held in the year 2008, made a false declaration to the effect that he was not subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 63 of the Constitution or any other law for the time being in force for being elected as a member of the Parliament/Provincial Assembly, therefore, reference will be required to be made to the Chairman Senate under Article 63(2) in view of the provision of section 99(1)(f) of the Act of 1976, which lays down that a person shall not be qualified from being elected or chosen as a member of an Assembly unless he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate and honest and ameen.
Rahman Malik, in view of the false declaration filed by him at the time of contesting the election to the Senate held in the year 2008, wherein he was elected, cannot be considered sagacious, righteous, honest and ameen within the contemplation of section 99(1)(f) of the Act of 1976. Therefore, for such purposes Article 63(p) is to be adhered to because the disqualification incurred by him is envisaged under the law, referred to his own statement that he had renounced his citizenship of UK whereas the fact remains that such renunciation along with declaration can only be seen as having been made on 29.05.2012.
The SC also directed Rehman Malik to refund all monetary benefits drawn by him up to 11.7.2012 for the period during which he occupied the public office in the same manner as directed in the case of other parliamentarians.
As Rehman Malik had made false declarations, therefore, the Election Commission has been directed to institute legal proceedings against him as it has been directed in the case of other parliamentarians.
The Election Commission has also been directed to examine the cases of the Parliamentarians and the members of Provincial Assemblies, individually, by obtaining fresh declaration on oath from all of them that they are not disqualified under Article
63(1)(c) of the Constitution. - (Geo News)


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