Supreme Court Hears Constitution Petition No. 5 OF 2012

Islamabad: A three member bench headed by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, Chief Justice of Pakistan and comprising other two members namely Hon’ble Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Hon’ble Mr.Justice Tariq Parvez heard Constitution Petition No. 5 of 2012 and CMA Nos. 1182 and 1185 of 2012 etc. (Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi Versus Federation of Pakistan, etc.). After hearing the counsel for the petitioners and the respondents in the case, the bench passed the following order:-

“It has been pointed out by the learned Attorney General for Pakistan that under Article 63 (c) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 “A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State” therefore, the question in view of public importance is required to be dealt with. He has also pointed out that one of the learned Judges of this Court (Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, J) delivered a judgment, being a learned Judge of Lahore High Court, Lahore, in the case of Umar Ahmad Ghumman v. Government of Pakistan (PLD 2002 Lahore 521). Relevant para there from is reproduced herein below:-

“The above interpretation of the Constitutional provisions is a rather over simplification and would lead to anomalous results. Article 63(1) © of the Constitution explicitly mandates that “a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State”. Thus the disqualification comes into play the moment a person becomes a candidate or seeks election. This Court has declared petitioner to be a citizen of Pakistan but every citizen of a State is not allowed to contest the election. The qualifications and disqualifications have been enumerated in the Constitution and by the law of the land. Since the petitioner has admittedly acquired citizenship of a foreign country, he is hit by the afore-referred provision and cannot contest elections unless, of course, he removes this disqualification in terms of rule 19 of the Pakistan citizenship Rules, 1952.”

2. Election Commission of Pakistan (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Commission’) has submitted a concise statement, but without disclosing the names of any of the Parliamentarians allegedly disqualified from being a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or Provincial Assembly. In this behalf, the learned Attorney General has explained that while submitting the nomination forms a declaration is filed stating therein on oath that the candidate does not suffer from any disqualification. Therefore, it would not be possible for the Commission to provide details of any of the Parliamentarian or the Members of the Provincial Assemblies, who allegedly suffer from such disqualification.

3. When the petitioner was called upon to point out the name of any such parliamentarian, he stated that he is mainly relying on a TV program which was aired by a private TV channel SAMA wherein assertions have been made about the Parliamentarians, who are suffering from such disqualification. In addition to it, he stated that in paragraphs 12 and 13 of the Constitution Petition, with reference to the private TV Channel SAMA he has noted that Chaudhary Zahid Iqbal; Chaudhary Iftikhar Nazir; and Abdur Rehman Malik have acquired citizenships of Britain. In the next para, again it has been emphasized that according to the information Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik is known to be a person, who has acquired dual citizenship. Likewise, in para 33 of CMA No.1185 of 2012 name of one another Member of National Assembly Ms. Farah Naz Isfahani has been mentioned.

4. These respectable Parliamentarians have not been made party so far, but before proceeding further, we would expect that either they at their own or the learned Attorney General for Pakistan may collect information from them about their dual citizenships and if it is so whether disqualification has been got removed or whatever the position may be. However, the learned Attorney General may provide a copy of this order to all of them and if they so desire they may appear at their own by filing their replies along with allied documents to clarify their position. Adjourned to 20.04.2012.

5. Notices of CMA Nos.1182 and 1185 of 2012 be also issued to the respondents.”

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184

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