ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday took up the dual nationality case against Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda seeking his disqualification from the public office.
A five-member bench of the commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard the case.
The lawyers of the petitioners and Faisal Vawda appeared before the ECP panel. The petitioners submitted their replies on the maintainability of petitions against the federal minister.
The panel had in an earlier hearing sought comments on the maintainability of petitions against Vawda.
The petitioners also handed over a copy of their reply to the counsel of Faisal Vawda.
CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja directed the counsel of Vawda to present his arguments after perusal of replies of the petitioners.
The minister’s counsel again objected over the jurisdiction with regard to the petitions and sought the ECP to dismiss them.
The counsel argued that a reference for disqualification of a National Assembly member could not be submitted in the election commission directly.
“It should be submitted to the Speaker National Assembly and the ECP could act only when a reference against a MNA sent by the Speaker,” Vawda’s counsel argued.
In an early hearing, the commission on absence of the lawyer of the minister had issued a notice to him to submit his response to the petitions within 15 days. If the minister doesn’t respond to the notice, the ECP will decide the case unilaterally, it warned.
The petitions seek Vawda’s removal from the public office under clause 62-1 (F) of the constitution.
It was stated in the pleas that Faisal Vawda was a dual national when he had submitted his nomination papers to contest election for a National Assembly seat and he concealed his dual nationality.
The minister is no longer Sadiq and Ameen (truthful and trustworthy) as he had filed a false affidavit with regard to his nationality, the petitioners argued, requesting the ECP to disqualify Faisal Vawda as member of the National Assembly.