ISLAMABAD    -   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan and Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary in a petition seeking his disqualification.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition challenging the eligibility of Fawad Chaudhary accusing him of not declaring his assets.

Besides Fawad, the IHC bench also issued notices to the ECP, the law ministry and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) directing them to submit their responses within two weeks in this matter.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel pleaded before the bench that the court had directed to serve notices to the minister during the last hearing. However, he added that the same was not mentioned in the written order issued by the court.

At this, the bench directed to issue the notices again to Fawad Chaudhary and other respondents directing them to submit their reply before the next hearing.

The petitioner’s lawyer adopted before the court that the minister had concealed his assets while submitting his nomination papers to the ECP and he should be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

He added that Fawad did not declare land he owns in Jhelum and therefore, he is not Sadiq and Ameen.

Justice Athar asked which person is ‘Sadiq and Ameen’. Such political cases should be resolved on political forums he added.

The lawyer argued that Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was disqualified on the same ground to which the chief justice said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Khawaja Asif was also disqualified by IHC, but later he was reinstated by the Supreme Court.

The petitioner, an anchor for a private TV channel, claimed in his petition that the minister concealed his assets when declaring them to the Election Commission of Pakistan and hence, should be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

“That Respondent No 1 ( Fawad Chauhdry ), with mala-fide intention and ulterior motives, concealed his assets, cost of assets and provided wrong & false statement of his own and spouses’ assets and their cost in FORM-B( statement of Assets and Liabilities) along with Nomination Papers,” said the petition.

It prayed to the court to disqualify the minister under Article 62 (1) (f) from holding public office as he had not disclosed documents containing his proprietary information. It also requested the court to order lodging of a criminal case against him and withdrawal of all privileges granted to him as a minister.

Besides Fawad, the petitioner also made the ECP, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and others as respondents in his petition.