The hearing of an application seeking and urgent hearing of a petition against Rahman Malik, adviser to the prime minister on interior affairs, was adjourned indefinitely by a division bench of the Sindh High Court here on Wednesday.
Justices Munib Akhtar and Aftab Ahmed Gorar earlier heard Moulvi Iqbal Haider, the petitioner, appearing in person, who sought the cancellation of a notification issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan, declaring Rahman Malik a senator from Sindh on a seat reserved for technocrats. He was declared elected un-opposed as no one else filed nomination papers.
The petitioner argued that Malik was convicted by an accountability court in two references -- 91 and 92 of 2004 -- and was sentenced to three-year term each in absentia.
Malik came back to Pakistan after the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was promulgated by former president General Pervez Musharraf and had himself absolved via the NRO.
However, the cases, conviction and sentence were restored after the Supreme Court declared the NRO as void and illegal. But Malik was saved from arrest as President Asif Ali Zardari pardoned him.
The presidential pardon, however, does not come in the way of disqualification and as such he can not become a candidate or member of parliament as a convict, pleaded Moulvi Iqbal Haider advocate, pressing the high court bench to hear the petition urgently and declare his candidature, election and notification as a member of the senate as void and ab-initio.
The bench declined the request for an urgent hearing and said as the respondent has challenged his conviction and sentence before the apex court (Supreme Court) and the matter is pending adjudication, there is no urgency and hence the matter is adjourned indefinitely.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.