KARACHI: Representatives for three politicians cited a number of illnesses for them not appearing in court to hear charges of filing false declarations and nomination papers for the 2008 general elections. The hearing was rescheduled for December 13.
On Supreme Court directives, the regional election commissioner of Karachi had filed complaints against Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Farahnaz Ispahani of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Nadia Gabol of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement for filing false declarations, along with their nomination papers for elections, to conceal their dual citizenship.
A government official appeared on behalf of Interior Minister Rehman Malik before the District and Sessions Judge - South, Ahmed Saba, and stated that Malik couldn’t show up in court as he had to appear before the Supreme Court in Islamabad in the NICL case. Additionally, the official said, “the applicant was suffering from acute laryngitis because of the continuous restless working for the law and order during Muharram.”
The official requested the court to put off the hearing for four weeks as Malik was scheduled to make several important foreign visits.
The counsel for former National Assembly member Farahnaz Ispahani requested the court to adjourn the hearing as she was out of the country. At the last hearing, the court had directed the counsel to ensure her presence.
The counsel, citing other reasons, said that Ispahani couldn’t appear before the court as she was unwell and undergoing treatment.
Gabol served as the provincial minister for human rights. Her lawyer told the court that she could not make it to the hearing as she was ‘not feeling well’.
In its verdict on the dual nationality case, the Supreme Court disqualified 11 representatives, including Gabol and Ispahani, from being members of the National Assembly and provincial assemblies based on Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution which states that a person will be disqualified from parliament if he/she acquires the citizenship of a foreign country. Rehman Malik was also disqualified for having made a false declaration.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2012.
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