ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday adjourned the hearing of dual nationality case against Faisal Vawda. Headed by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) a four-member bench heard the arguments of both the parties.

The counsel of the Federal Minister Faisal Vawda, while raising questions over the jurisdictions of the commission, said that ECP had no mandate to launch a probe against any individual member of the assembly. He argued that ECP had no jurisdiction to disqualify a parliamentarian.

The lawyer of the minister further said that 3 out of 4 petitions against Faisal Vawda were baseless and such petitions should have been submitted with the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Responding to the observations of the lawyer of the minister, the member of ECP from Punjab Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi said that ECP had the power and mandate to disqualify a member.

The lawyer of Faisal Vawda argued that after filing petition with the Speaker of the Assembly, the speaker will send the reference to the commission otherwise it will be the violation of Article 63 (2).

Commission says has mandate to disqualify a member of parliament

In his response the lawyer of the petitioner said that Article 63 (2) was only applicable when the person becomes the Member of the Assembly; adding that their petition was against the nominations papers of Faisal Vawda.

On the arguments of the petitioner, the ECP member from Punjab Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi directed him to come to the point and let the proceedings go ahead and present the arguments on Article 63 (2).

The petitioner’s lawyer argued that they had raised objection with Returning Officer over the nomination papers of Faisal Vawda as he had concealed his American nationality which was against the law.

The commission on the arguments of the lawyer of petitioner responded that the law was very clear and complications should not be created in the matter; directing that the petitioner should file reference with Speaker of the Assembly and should come with a proper way.

The lawyer of the petitioner also asked the commission to write a letter to the American Consulate and get the information about the American nationality of Faisal Vawda. He further argued that RO had rejected his petition and then he approached the tribunal, he added. The lawyer of the petitioner requested the commission to also take action against the RO in the case.

The commission after hearing all the arguments from both the parties adjourned the hearings.