ISLAMABAD - Former federal minister Sumaira Malik has submitted her reply on the objections raised by her opponent Umer Aslam in a review petition pending before a larger bench of the Supreme Court (SC) against the October 28, 2013 judgment in the Civil Appeal No. 669-L/2013.

The petitioner Umer Aslam who lost three consecutive general elections to Sumaira Malik, after losing the 2008 general elections has filed an election petition alleging forgery in the graduation degree of Sumaira Malik along with other electoral rigging charges. The Punjab University (PU) and the election tribunal Lahore High Court (LHC) after due verification in person declared the B.A. degree of Sumaira Malik as genuine. However, in the SCP on October 28, 2013 the decision was reversed and a lifetime ban on her future elections was imposed besides her disqualification to remain as a member of the National Assembly.

In her reply, Sumaira Malik reiterated that the University of Punjab as well the Election Tribunal/ High Court used the naked eye for comparing the photographs with the person/face of review petitioner and validly concluded that the photographs belong to the review petitioner. However, the error floating on the record of the impugned judgment passed by this Court while hearing appeal and substituting the findings of the University as well as the Election Tribunal is that the learned members of the Bench hearing the appeal only compared the photographs inter-se but failed to compare all the photographs with the person /face of the present review petitioner, unlike the manner adopted by the learned Election Tribunal and University. Hence, even failed to properly exercise the discretion/jurisdiction vested under Article 84 of Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984. Even otherwise there is contradiction in the assessment of the naked eye between the Election Tribunal, the University authorities and the Supreme Court and thus to administer complete justice the most appropriate order was passed by this August, Supreme Court to illicit expert technical advice as the penalty granted to the Petitioner is deprivation of a life time restrain from taking part in electoral politics which is a serious deprivation and thus rights of individuals have to be protected unless proven that the offence has actually been committed. 

Umer Aslam has no locus standi or cause of action to challenge the Forensic Report obtained by this court on its own initiative after acceptance of it by the counsels, which is not only this court’s prerogative but was otherwise necessary to reach just, fair and proper conclusion and adjudication of the titled Review Petition. This Court has obtained the report from the state of the Art Forensic Lab/Agency which is not only recognized as the best forensic lab in the country nationality as well as internationally, whereas, not only the report has been prepared but analysis has also been undertaken by a qualified person who is neutral and independent and whose integrity and credibility is being attacked without any proof. The DG FSLA on February 16, 2016 presented the forensic findings before the court and authenticated the claim of Sumaira Malik that she did not commit any forgery in her graduation examination form.