ISLAMABAD - A division bench of Islamabad High Court yesterday dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of Ishaq Dar as a member of the Senate and finance minister.

The IHC’s double bench, comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Athar Minallah, heard the petition moved by journalist Farrukh Nawaz Bhatti through his counsel GM Chaudhry advocate, seeking disqualification of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar through a writ of qua warranto under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The petitioner made the chief election commissioner, FIA director general, National Accountability Bureau chairman and Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar respondents in the petition. Bhatti contended in his petition that since Ishaq Dar had submitted a confessional affidavit before an accountability court that he had committed acts amounting to money laundering as well as other financial irregularities, he is not eligible to become a senator and hold the slot of finance minister.

He prayed to the court to set aside the notifications regarding the election of Ishaq Dar as a member of the Senate and his appointment as a federal minister. He also requested the court to direct the ECP to issue a notification disqualifying Ishaq Dar as a senator and minister.

The petitioner sought directions to the FIA DG to initiate proceedings against Dar over his confession to money laundering under the relevant laws.

Farrukh further prayed to the court to direct the NAB chairman to initiate investigations against Dar regarding accumulation of exorbitant wealth after his confession to money laundering before a competent court of law.

He further prayed to the court to direct the finance minister to refund all the money received by him in terms of salary/remuneration, allowances and other perks and privileges, besides restraining him from performing his official and legislative functions as a senator and federal minister till the pendency of the petition.

The petitioner contended that Dar does not meet the requirements of paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of clause (1) of Article 62 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which says inter alia that a member of the Parliament must be of good character and must not be commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions; he must also have adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and must be ‘sadiq’ and ‘amen’.

During the hearing of the case, the court asked the petitioner why he did not raise objections when Ishaq Dar filed his nomination papers for contesting the Senate election. The court turned down the petition, saying the petitioner has no locus standi in this matter.