ISLAMABAD, July 18: The Supreme Court on Thursday disqualified two members of the Punjab Assembly for possessing fake degrees and suspended the membership of an MNA (Member National Assembly) for his alleged fake degree.
The three-member bench was headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and included Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Azmat Sheikh.
Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Khawaja Mohammad Islam and Mir Badshah Khan Qasrani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazal (JUI-F), both members of the Punjab Assembly, were disqualified after the Higher Education Commission (HEC) submitted a report declaring their academic degrees fake.
The court also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify the election of the two legislators.
Furthermore, the apex court suspended the membership of the former federal minister for labour Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. According to a report submitted by the HEC, both his graduation degree and his diploma in engineering were counterfeit.
However, the final opinion will be given after the decision of the Lahore High Court, where a case in this regard is pending against Ghulam Sarwar Khan for the past seven months.
The petition in LHC against Sarwar Khan, who had defeated the incumbent Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan from NA-53, was filed by Raja Qamar through senior lawyer Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din.
Giving arguments before the bench, Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din said Ghulam Sarwar Khan had won the 2002 elections on the basis of the same degrees, and had enjoyed the perks and privileges of a minister and MNA till 2008.
He added that a report from the HEC had endorsed his client’s view that Ghulam Sarwar possessed fake degrees, and an FIR had been registered against him with the anti-corruption police station in Lahore where the case was pending for seven months.
On the other hand, Raja Suleman, the counsel for Ghulam Sarwar Khan, maintained before the court that the case was based on malafide intentions.
However, the court suspended Mr Khan’s membership and ordered the LHC to decide the case against him at the earliest.
The apex court also directed the ECP to decide the disqualification matter of PTI’s member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly, who had defeated former KP Chief Minister and PML-N leader, Pir Sabir Shah, from PK-52 (Haripur).
In addition, the ECP was asked to verify the academic credentials of MNA Zaib Jaffar (PML-N) while the judgment in the case of MNA Maiza Hameed (PML-N) was reserved. However, the academic degree of Mohammad Nawaz (PML-N), who was elected from PP-71, was found genuine.