ISLAMABAD: The Islam­ab­­ad High Court (IHC) is expected to decide on Tuesday (to­­day) the maintainability of a petition seeking the disqualification of former prime minister Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter Tyrian White.

In his reply to the court, Mr Khan objected to the petition, stating he was no longer a public office holder as his resignation from the National Assembly was “irrevocable” when he has no inte­ntion of taking up a seat in the present assembly. In his reply, Mr Khan stated that the court has no jurisdiction to examine the veracity of any declaration or affidavit by a person who had cea­sed to hold public office.

During Monday’s hearing, counsel for the petitioner, Hamid Ali Shah, concluded his arguments in response to Mr Khan’s objections.

The matter was taken up by the ben­ch comprising Chief Jus­tice Aamer Farooq, Just­ice Mohsin Akhtar Kaya­­ni and Jus­tice Arbab Muhammad Tahir.

Justice Farooq inqui­red about the status of a returned candidate who would not take oath as a parliamentarian and sought arguments on how a person disqualified to hold public office can retain the position of a party’s chairman.

He also asked what became of a lawmaker’s disqualification in case the National Assembly stood dissolved. The counsel argued that disqualification would stay in place until Article 62(1)(f) was part of the constitution.

At this, the IHC chief justice cited the case of ex-senator Faisal Vawda who was disqualified for the assembly’s term and not for a lifetime. The counsel replied that the facts of both cases were not identical.

The court was told that the Supreme Court made it mandatory for contesting candidates to file an affidavit about their dependents.

The apex court had de­­c­lared that any concealment in the affidavit was tantamount to submitting forged documents. Later, the hearing was adjourned till Tuesday (today).

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2023

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