Court: SC disqualifies PPP legislator for holding dual nationality

ISLAMABAD: A three member Supreme Court bench on Friday disqualified Pakistan People’s Party PPP MNA from NA143 Okara, Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral, for holding dual nationality and directed the Election Commission to denotify him.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, also directed Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral to return back all the salaries and other benefits he withdrawn being MNA.

Counsel for Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral told the court that his client had surrendered Canadian nationality. He said his client had approached Canadian High Commission for getting certificate about surrendering nationality, however reply was awaited. He requested the court to allow some time for attaining the certificate.

The court however rejected his request saying that enough time had already been granted many times. He said today Saturday was the last day of assemblies and if a decision was not given, it would be discrimination against those who had already been disqualified being holders of dual nationality.

The court held that the decisions already made on the dual nationality will be also applicable on Mr Kharral. The court noted that it had already interpreted Article 63 1C and Mr Kharral was not eligible to contest election when he had filed his nomination papers.

The court noted that he had violated Article 62 and 63. The court noted that Election Commission’s report on the parliamentarians having dual nationality was still awaited and directed it Election Commission to submit the report until March 25.

During the hearing of dual nationality case, the chief justice noted that the court had already ordered sending reference against Interior Minister Rehman Malik for holding dual nationality.

He said if the petitioner Mehmood Naqvi had any objection over not sending reference against Rehman Malik, he could file a separate petition.

Mehmood Naqvi, a petitioner in the dual nationality case, contended that Rehman Malik had not disclosed his dual nationality in 2008 in his oath. He contended that Chairman Senate had not mentioned any reason for not sending reference against Rehman Malik.

The chief justice then told him that if he had any objection over not sending reference against Rehman Malik, he could file a separate petition to this effect.

He noted that in the case of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the same had happened, and he had not disqualified after conviction. He said he was disqualified on a plea against the Speaker’s ruling. Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing until March 26.