SHC dismisses petition seeking CM Sindh’s disqulification

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

28th Sep, 2021. 07:22 pm
Murad Ali Shah

Murad Ali Shah

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking the disqualification of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah under Article 62(1)(f) for declaring a false affidavit.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh had earlier reserved his order on the maintainability of the petition filed by Leader of Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh.

The petitioner in the writ jurisdiction wanted the court to declare CM Murad ineligible to hold membership of provincial assembly and declare notification of his election as null and void. The petitioner had also appealed to the court’s to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to de-notify the PPP leader as an MPA and initiate a criminal proceeding against him.

The petitioner had challenged the eligibility of CM Murad based on observations of Supreme Court (SC) in the Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi case of 2012. The apex court, in that case, declared certain parliamentarians having dual nationality, disqualified from being members of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and provincial assembly in terms of Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution.

In compliance with certain directions issued by the apex court in the matter, the ECP wrote a letter to the secretaries of the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies on September 24, 2012. It had asked the secretaries to obtain a declaration on oath from all members of the assemblies regarding their dual nationality.

The petitioner stated that instead of submitting the declaration as required on the format prescribed by the ECP, the CM, who was elected from PS-73 Jamshoro-cum-Dadu in the general election of 2008, tendered his resignation on November 30, 2012.

Later on, Murad contested the by-election from the same constituency and in response to certain objections raised by Roshan Ali Burriro he filed an affidavit declaring that he was not disqualified in terms of Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution.

For contesting general election 2013, the petitioner submitted that Murad again made a statement declaring that he was not disqualified in terms of Article 63(1)(c).

After hearing counsel for the petitioner and perusal of the record and judgments of the court, Justice Sheikh held that though the Supreme Court maintained Murad’s disqualification in light of Naqvi’s case, he was not disqualified by any court of law in terms of Article 62(1)(f).

Justice Sheikh observed, subsequently a petition filed in SHC in 2018 by Roshan Ali Burriro seeking the CM’s disqualification in terms of Article 62 (1) (f) based on an order of returning officer PS-73.

Justice Sheikh noted that it was found during the hearing of the petition that a certificate of renunciation of CM Murad’s Canadian nationality was issued by Canadian officials on July 18, 2013, in response to an application moved by Murad on September 29, 2012.

The 2018 petition of Burriro, noted Justice Sheikh, was dismissed by SHC against which he filed an appeal before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court while dismissing his appeal, noted Justice Sheikh, had held that the returning officer had no authority to decide disqualification in terms of Article 62 (1) (f).

Declaring that there is an admittedly political rivalry between petitioner and the respondent puts the bona fides of Sheikh in question.

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