ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar yesterday held that a parliamentarian could not be disqualified on the basis of submitting fake certificates under the law.

How a lawmaker could be disqualified under Political Parties Order, 2002, when the law does not permit it, the chief justice said while hearing PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition against PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Secretary General Jehangir Tareen for having offshore companies.

While heading a three-judge bench, the chief justice questioned how a parliamentarian could be disqualified on the basis of submitting a fake certificate in the Election Commission under the PPO. He said the punishment for receiving funds from prohibited sources is given in Article 15 of PPO, which should be read with Article 17(3) of the 1973 Constitution.

Earlier, Akram Sheikh, representing the PML-N leader, argued that on last Friday the apex court disqualified a prime minister for not declaring salary in his nomination papers for the general elections 2013. He contended if a premier could be disqualified why a legislator who submitted a fake affidavit in the Election Commission could not be disqualified.

The chief justice observed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified under 62(1)(f) for not disclosing his assets in the nomination papers submitted for general elections 2013.

Akram Sheikh said: “A leader should be role model for people,” adding if parliamentarian should also be ousted from politics for giving a false statement. The counsel argued that under Article 184(3) of the Constitution it is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to see this aspect. He argued, according to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) lists, PTI falls under Article 2(c) (iii) of the PPO. He said the party received donations and contributions from prohibited sources and Imran Khan, as the head of the party, has given a false certificate, so he is not honest and ameen under articles 62 and 63 of the constitution.

He contended the purpose of the certificate was to tell the Election Commission of Pakistan that it was not receiving funds from prohibited sources. The ECP does not allot a symbol to a party when it comes to its knowledge that the party is receiving funds from prohibited sources.

Akram Sheikh said if a political party is prevented from taking funds from domestically incorporated public or private company, firm, trade or professional association how it could receive funds from the companies in USA and foreign nationals.

He said under Article 13 of PPO, the party leader within 60 days from the end of each financial year, submits a consolidated statement of accounts of the party audited by a chartered accountant, which includes annual income and expenses, sources of its funds and assets and liabilities. The statement is accompanied by a certificate signed by the party leader stating that no funds from any source prohibited under this order were received by the party and the statement contains an accurate financial position of the party, he added.

Akram Sheikh said Imran Khan has given an affidavit that PTI was not receiving funds from prohibited sources. He said in Chirat Cement case the apex court has disqualified an MP on the charge of giving a false certificate.

The PML-N leader’s lawyer contended that Imran Khan has denied allegation of receiving funds from prohibited sources. He stated the total amount shown as remittances to PTI Pakistan from PTI USA LLC (Texas) in FARA record from February 2010 to June 2013 does not reconcile with the lists filed by PTI in the apex court. He said the amount collected by a PTI agent in USA is less while the money transferred to PTI in Pakistan is more.

The chief justice remarked there can be inaccuracies, but it does not establish the nexus of dishonesty.

Lauding the PTI chairman, Akram Sheikh said Imran Khan was a cricket player and has a charisma to influence the establishment and other institutions. He requested the chief justice to download the lists of contributors and donations from the website of FARA. The chief justice directed PTI counsel Anwar Mansoor to provide the lists from the FARA website.

Earlier, Anwar Mansoor said it is true that PTI USA LLC is the agent of PTI Pakistan, which raises funds for the party, he added.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday (today).

 

 

 

 

 

Lawmaker can’t be disqualified over fake certificate: CJP