IHC disqualifies PML-N’s MPA over bogus degree

Published February 1, 2020
Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC  announces the verdict that was reserved on Nov 5.  — AFP/File
Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC announces the verdict that was reserved on Nov 5. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday disqualified a member of the Punjab Assembly from Bahawalnagar, Kashif Mahmood, for holding a bogus degree of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Mr Mahmood belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC announced the verdict that was reserved on Nov 5.

The petition was filed by Abdul Ghaffar, a resident of Bahawalnagar district. The petition cited the provincial assembly’s secretary, Punjab Assembly’s speaker, MPA Mahmood and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents.

Earlier, ECP’s 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 states: “The university has thoroughly checked the academic record of Mr 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.”

The report further states: “The record held in the university reveals that Mr 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.”

It 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 stated in his plea 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 the 2018 general election, amongst others, Mr 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 the Punjab Assembly, Kashif Mahmood was enjoying all 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 should be disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution for not being sagacious and honest.

It may be mentioned that in the 2018 general election, Mr Mahmood had secured 48,543 votes, whereas his opponent from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf received 44,184 votes.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2020

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