KARACHI - The Sindh High Court Tuesday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan and others to submit detail report on identical petitions seeking disqualification of former PPP lawmakers, until June 25.

A division bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar was hearing identical petitions, wherein former provincial minster Nasir Shah and ex MPA Mir Nawab Ghaibi Sardar Khan Chandio counsels submitted their reply. Nasir Shah submitted that he had withdrawn his iqama in 2012.

Nasir requested the court that he is a candidate for coming general election; therefore his case should be heard on priority bases. The court refused and said that the matter would be taken up after the submission of reply from other respondents. Faryal Talpure lawyer, Farooq H Nayek submitted that his client has not received any notice from the court; he requested to give him further time in this regard. The court directed other respondents to submit their reply in the next hearing. 

In last hearing the court had directed the respondents to argue on the maintainability of petitions seeking disqualification of former lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party. The court sought arguments from the deputy attorney general and the advocate general, Sindh, in the light of the judgements of the Supreme Court in cases relating to disqualification of the PPP’s Rehman Malik and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Khawaja Asif.

The petitions were filed by Moazzam Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair, Mir Punhal Khan Talpur and Mumtaz Ali Chandio, who had challenged the eligibility of former PPP MNA Faryal Talpur, former MPAs Nasir Hussain Shah, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Manzoor Wasan and Mir Nawab Ghaibi Sardar Khan Chandio to contest the upcoming general polls.

Moazzam Abbasi has submitted that Faryal Talpur, a sister of former president Asif Ali Zardari, had set up a company in the name of her daughter in Dubai in 2002, but she concealed the details of the money transferred to Dubai from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The petitioner maintained that Ms Talpur was holding an iqama (work permit) of the United Arab Emirates and did not disclose it in her nomination papers.

Talpur challenged the candidature of the ex-MPA Manzoor Wassan, arguing that he also possessed an iqama, thus he was not eligible to take part in the upcoming general elections.

Mumtaz Ali Chandio submitted in his plea that Sardar Khan Chandio also possessed an iqama but he concealed the details of the money transferred abroad from the ECP.

However, respondent Chandio’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan contended that the plea was not maintainable since the tenure of his client as a lawmaker had already ended.

He added that the petitioner might approach the ECP if he had any complaint against the former lawmaker.

The petitioners’ counsel argued that the concealment of facts tantamount to violation of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution read with Sections 99(I)(f) of the Representation of People Act 1976 and pleaded for disqualification of the former PPP parliamentarians.

Earlier, the bench inquired from the lawyers as to what was the status of their pleas following the judgement recently passed by the Supreme Court in a case relating to disqualification of the PML-N leader Khawaja Asif.

Punhal Khan’s lawyer maintained that the case of Mr Wassan’s disqualification for possessing an iqama was different from that of Khawaja Asif.

It further asked them to come prepared to argue on the matter in the light of the judgements passed by the apex court in the cases of disqualification of the former PPP leader Rehman Malik and PML-N’s Khawaja Asif.