Reprieve for Vawda

The Supreme Court by exhibiting its magnanimity has set aside the former PTI legislators’ lifetime disqualification

November 26, 2022

Senator Faisal Vawda is out of a legal tangle. The Supreme Court by exhibiting its magnanimity has set aside the former PTI legislators’ lifetime disqualification. While accepting an unconditional apology from Vawda for his falsification statements and forged testimonials, his conviction was restricted under Article 63(1)(C) for the current term of the legislature. He is humbly eligible to contest the next election for the either chambers of the house.

This twist of litigation has a long tale, and to give due credit to the devil’s advocate, the dual-nationality holder billionaire played his cards very well, and truly kept on hoping in the largesse of the honourable judiciary. He won the legal battle by being able to articulately come out of repeated sentences against him by the Election Commission and the Islamabad High Court. It is not only Vawda who has a sigh of relief to breathe, this benevolence of the apex court is likely to serve as a precedent for many such convictions and disqualifications in the same domain, pitching the political mosaic in a new recasting of its own.

Vawda was categorically on the receiving end by a three-member bench led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. While hearing a long-pending appeal against a decision of the IHC that had upheld the ECP’s ruling for disqualification because of dual nationalities and perjury before the competent authority, there was hardly any legal lacuna for his rescue. But as they say there is always a possibility in the compassion of the court, it lived up to the moment for the impugned Senator. That is why Chief Justice Bandial rightly remarked that there is enough material before the court to disqualify the appellant for life.

This whole exercise has a number of lessons, and moral torpedo tops them. It is a pity that our public representatives stoop so low to file falsified statements, and then have the daredevil audacity to sit in the legislature in a denial mode. Vawda and his likes must revisit their conduct in all sincerity, and decide for themselves if they qualify to lead from the front.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2022.

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