ISLAMABAD: Fate of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) member from Sindh seems to hang in the balance after it emerged that he had been holding another office of profit since his appointment in the commission in blatant violation of the Constitution.
This revelation was made in a reference filed by PTI leader Faisal Vawda with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking Prof Nisar Ahmad Durrani’s removal.
However, on the official website of the Government Sindh Law College, Hyderabad, Prof Durrani is named as the principal.
The reference, a copy of which is available with Dawn, says the respondent was holding another office of profit in glaring violation of Article 216.
Vawda moves SJC for his removal; PTI planning to file reference against CEC
Durrani, who was serving as principal of Government Sindh Law College Hyderabad before his appointment as ECP member, never resigned from his post and continued to serve as principal. The respondent’s tenure had also been extended for three years, from Dec 31, 2021 onwards (till Dec 31, 2023).
“The letter giving him extension in service as principal of a government-owned law college establishes that the respondent failed to discharge his duties in accordance with law... hence, he is liable to be removed forthwith from his incumbent office for not being God fearing, law abiding, abstemious, truthful, cautious, forbearing and wise in opinion, and for absolutely care free and oblivious in preserving the dignity of his office,” the reference continued.
“…..it has been proven beyond doubt that the respondent is holding simultaneously, two offices of profit in absolute violation of Article 216 of the Constitution, being Member of Election Commission of Pakistan and Principal of Sindh Medical College at the same time,” it added.
“In view of the above submissions, the Supreme Judicial Council is most humbly requested to initiate proceedings under Article 209 of the Constitution... against the respondent Nisar Ahmed Durrani, for misconduct, acting in a manner that is unbecoming of member ECP, violating the code of conduct and articles 5 and 216 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973,” the reference said, adding that the council was requested to remove the respondent from his post.
A source close to Nisar Ahmad Durrani confirmed that he was serving in the law college in Hyderabad, but insisted that it was an honorary job.
He claimed that it did not come under the ambit of services of Pakistan under Article 260 of the Constitution.
He further said the law college in which Mr Durrani was serving was not owned by the government, adding that he had been delivering lectures to the college’s students for the last two decades.
“He is neither receiving remuneration nor salary, but honorarium,” he claimed.
He also claimed Mr Durrani had resigned as principal of the college about a year ago, but the application was still pending with the board of governors.
Reference against CEC
Also on Wednesday, PTI announced that it would file a reference against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja with the Supreme Judicial Council.
The announcement was made by the party’s senior vice president and former information minister, Fawad Chaudhry.
Talking to reporters outside the ECP along with Faisal Vawda, Mr Chaudhry said Pakistan’s “biggest political party had lost trust in him (CEC)”.
He said the major reason behind the political crisis facing Pakistan today was a non-functional ECP.
Mr Chaudhry said PTI Chairman Imran Khan had suggested that the “CEC should take up a position in the PML-N”.
“And this incomplete Election Commission — which lacks members from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and as a result, is not representing around 70 per cent population of Pakistan — is becoming a party against the country’s biggest political party,” he added.
Therefore, he said, the party planned to file a reference against the CEC in the Supreme Judicial Council. When contacted, an ECP official said the commission had a few months ago dropped the plan to formally initiate contempt proceedings against Fawad Chaudhry for his tirade against the CEC and the Election Commission following an apology tendered by him.
He also recalled that the present CEC was a nominee of the then PTI-led government.
Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2022