ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted former PTI leader Faisal Vawda a choice that, if he chooses to accept it, could mitigate the severity of his disqualification term.
The Supreme Court stated during the hearing of the petition challenging Vawda’s lifelong ban on running for or holding public office: “If Vawda confesses to filing a falsified [citizenship] affidavit then he will be disqualified for one term; but, if the politician does not.
Vawda’s plea challenging his lifetime ban was considered on Thursday by a three-member bench presided over by Pakistan’s Chief Justice, Umar Ata Bandial. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha Malik are the other members of the bench.
The court further mandated that Vawda bring a certificate at the subsequent hearing attesting to his renunciation of US citizenship.
The Chief Justice added, “There is enough material before the court to disqualify Vawda for life.” “Vawda should accept his mistake and be disqualified under 63(1) C, else the court shall proceed with the case under 62(1) F,” the Chief Justice said.
Vawda appealed the Election Commission of Pakistan’s ruling upholding his lifetime ban (ECP).
Lawyer Vawda’s legal representative, Waseem Sajjad, maintained that the ECP lacked the authority to permanently ban his client and that it was also not a court of law.
As a result of his deliberate submission of a false affidavit on the status of his US citizenship, the ECP has ruled Vawda unfit to run for any public office.
The CJP stated that the former PTI leader was required to appear before the Supreme Court and admit to changing the date on the dual citizenship certificate.
The court had enough evidence, according to CJP Bandial, to “easily prove Vawda submitted a falsified affidavit.”
In addition to what the Chief Justice indicated, Justice Ayesha Malik stated that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had the authority to impose a lifetime ban on voting.
“Given the evidence in front of the court, why can’t the Supreme Court permanently disqualify him? Vawda told numerous lies to conceal a single lie, continued Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.
The IHC rejected his argument, pointing out that submitting a false affidavit to the court had serious repercussions and that there was a ruling from the bigger bench of the SC that some legislators had been found ineligible for office.