SC reserves verdict on dual nationality case

SC 4The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict in the dual nationality case which was expected to be announced within a couple of days.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry concluded hearing of the dual nationality case and apprised the parties that it could announce its verdict in a couple of days.

During the course of hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir contended that it was the duty of the election officer to scrutinize the nomination papers of the candidates including the nationality status and all the provisions which were required before declaring him eligible for contesting election. Irfan Qadir said that the matter should eventually be decided by the National Assembly Speaker and referred to the Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

The attorney general asked the court to interpret the constitution in the said petitions. The court said that interpretation was necessary because such situation could also arise in the future as parliamentary elections were going to be held soon.

He said that Islam did not prohibit its followers from traveling to other countries contrary to Hinduism.

He said that there was no question of misstatement and if the court reached on the conclusion that these members were disqualified, there would be other consequence of such a judgment because declarations submitted by these members were based on bonafide intentions.

The chief justice also told the attorney general that the court was not interested in deseating the public representatives. He also said that on the court’s desire, the parliament introduced the 20th constitutional amendment to save several parliamentarians from disqualification.

A counsel for a dual nationality holder Member Provincial Assembly Punjab Amna Buttar maintained that she would not contest the elections in future upon which the bench observed that the dual nationality holders could not be given the authority to legislate.

MPA Amna Buttar’s lawyer said that she was now aware of the dual nationality law and his client would not attend the assembly anymore.

MNA Sardar Shahjahan’s lawyer denied that his client was holding dual nationality and apprised the bench that actually his client’s wife was a British national.

The chief justice expressed displeasure over petitioner Tariq Asad’s claims and remarked that one should not disgrace the other person with such allegations. He reminded him that such things could have serious consequences. In the meanwhile, Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, one of the petitioners in the case, surrendered to Sindh police officials who had arrived at Islamabad to arrest him in connection with two criminal cases registered against him in Karachi.

It is worth mentioning that during the course of this case, the Supreme Court had suspended the memberships of Senator Rehman Malik, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Muhammad Jamil Malik, PPP MPA Dr Amna Buttar, MNA Zahid Iqbal, MNA Farah Naz Ispahani, MPA Muhammad Akhlaq and MPA Dr Ahmad Ali Shah.

Pakistan Today