The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Friday barred former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda from contesting in any poll before the next general elections.
The apex court disqualified Vawda under Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution, under which a legislator loses membership of parliament for one term only. As such, he will remain disqualified till 2023 and is eligible to contest the next general or Senate elections.
Vawda apologised to the court unconditionally and accepted that he misstated about his dual nationality.
In his apology letter after the hearing, the ex-federal minister admitted that he was not eligible for contesting in elections after admitting that he had submitted a fake affidavit.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Umar Ata Bandial, admonished Vawda for misleading everyone for the last three years. He asked the former lawmaker to apologise before the court and resign from his Senate seat.
“If you apologise before the court with good intentions, then your disqualification will be limited to five years. In case you do not resign, then the court will proceed under Article 62(1)(f).”
At this, the former PTI leader said that he apologises unconditionally and that he “did not” intend to submit a false affidavit. Vawda also said that he would accept any punishment that the court doles out.
A day earlier, the court told Vawda to confess that he submitted a forged affidavit or else he will be disqualified for life.
Vawda had challenged his disqualification in the Supreme Court after ECP barred him from holding public office in a dual nationality case.
ECP disqualified Vawda as a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and ordered him to withdraw the notification appointing him as senator for concealing his dual nationality.
Supreme Court says Vawda will be disqualified for lifetime if he doesn’t confess to forgery
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has on Thursday given former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and ex-senator, Faisal Vawda, an option that could soften his disqualification sentence.
The top court heard the petition against Vawda’s lifetime disqualification from running or holding public office for concealment of his dual nationality.
“If Vawda confesses to submitting a forged citizenship affidavit then he will be disqualified for one term; however, if the politician does not, then it will be for a lifetime,” the court said.
A three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial heard the petition. The court also ordered Vawda to bring forth a certificate proving his renunciation of US citizenship in the next hearing.
“Vawda should admit his mistake and be disqualified under 63(1) C, otherwise the court shall proceed with the case under 62(1) F,” the Chief Justice said before warning that there was enough material before the court to disqualify Vawda “for life”.