ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday disposes of Chaudhry Kashif Mehmood disqualified Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Punjab belonging to Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N)’s Intra Court Appeal challenging his disqualification for possessing a fake degree.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Lubna Salim Pervez conducted hearing of the ICA and disposed of the same after the petitioner’s counsel requested to withdraw the ICA.

Mehmood moved the court through his counsel Kulsum Khaliq Advocate and adopted that the learned single bench did not consider the facts and circumstances of the case and disqualify/ de-notify the appellant only on the report of Al-Khair University but the appellant was not the student of Al-Khair University nor he studied in the said university.

 He prayed to the court to set aside the impugned order dated 31-01-2020, passed by the learned single judge and the appellant may kindly be qualified for holding the position of Member Punjab Assembly and the Election Commission of Pakistan may be directed to notify the appellant as a successful candidate. Earlier, a single bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq announced the verdict of disqualifying the MPA in the court and also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-seat the lawmaker.

Justice Farooq announced the verdict which the court had reserved on November 5 after the completion of arguments from both the sides. The petition was filed by Abdul Ghaffar that sought disqualification of Mehmood as he had allegedly contested the 2018’s general election on basis of a fake educational degree.

Previously, a private university declared that the MPA of PML-N from Bahawalnagar Kashif holds a bogus degree of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). The university on the directive of the IIHC had submitted a report about the authenticity of the MPA’s educational credentials. In its report the university said that Mahmood had never been its student. Abdul Ghaffar, a resident of the Bahawalnagar district filed the petition and cited the Provincial Assembly’s Secretary, Punjab Assembly’s Speaker, MPA Mahmood and the ECP as respondents.

The ECP counsel Sanaullah Zahid had suggested to the IHC that the educational credentials of the lawmaker should be verified from the university.

 In its report, the university stated, “The university has thoroughly checked the academic record of Kashif Mahmood, son of Khalid Mahmood, from admission, registration, examination and accounts branches, whether he is supposed to be student of this university in the discipline of “Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or otherwise”.

 It added, “The record held in the university reveals that Kashif Mahmood, son of Khalid Mahmood, has neither been student of Al-Khair University Bhimber (AJK) nor graduated in the course of Bachelor of Business Administration.”

 The report concluded, “That the claim of Respondent No. 4 [MPA Mahmood] that his Detail Marks Certificate (DMC) was issued under Serial No. 1053 and Registration No AUR (BA) 296-2000 by Al-Khair University is not justified.”

The petitioner adopted in his petition that the MPA had submitted a fake bachelor’s degree to the ECP to participate in the 2018 general election.

He also concealed the facts from the ECP as he did not mention his disqualification in 2013 in the affidavit submitted along with the nomination form, the petitioner added.

The petition said that in 2018 general election, amongst others, Mahmood had participated as a contesting candidate of the PML-N. The ECP declared him as returned candidate for PP-241 Bahawalnagar-V.

It said that being a Member of Punjab Assembly Kashif Mahmood was enjoying all the perks and privileges of his office. The petition requested the court that since the MPA had submitted fake and bogus educational degree to the ECP, he may be disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan for not being sagacious and honest.