As the National Assembly’s term drew to an end on Friday, the Supreme Court disqualified yet another of its members after his dual nationality status could not be cleared up.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed disqualified Pakistan Peoples Party MNA from NA-143 Okara-I, Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharal after he could not establish whether he had renounced his Canadian nationality or not.
“It is the last day of the National Assembly, but a legislator who possesses a dual-nationality has continued sitting in Parliament, when many others have lost their seats over their false oath, taken before contesting the elections,” Justice Chaudhry observed while disqualifying the PPP MNA.
The bench also expressed annoyance at the adjournment request made on the legislator’s behalf. “Kharral was not qualified for being an MNA under article 63 of the Constitution… He had been occupying his seat in Parliament as a disqualified person, without any authority,” the bench noted in its order.
Meanwhile, the disqualified MNA was ordered to deposit all perks and privileges he enjoyed at the expense of public exchequer with the NA secretary within two weeks.
The disqualified parliamentarian argued he had renounced his Canadian nationality before filling nomination papers.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2013.