SC summons dual nationality MPs
30 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued notices to MNAs Begum Shehnaz Sheikh and Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral, and Senator Rehman Malik to appear before it on October 3 in the dual nationality case.
The notices were issued in response to a reply filed by journalist Umar Cheema. A letter had been issued to Cheema to furnish details to substantiate his stance regarding the dual nationality of certain parliamentarians, enabling the Supreme Court to deal with such parliamentarians in terms of Article 25 read with Article 5 of the constitution. After receiving Cheema's response, the chief justice ordered that notices be issued to the three lawmakers.
Malik has been asked to appear in court and produce a list of parliamentarians and members of provincial assemblies, as it has appeared in the media that there were several dual national lawmakers.
The SC notice stated that it appeared that the interior minister in his press conference on September 20 and 21 had mentioned that if he was asked by the SC or government, he could produce names of the parliamentarians and members who enjoyed dual citizenship. The information secretary was also directed to submit transcript of this press conference, on or before October 2.
Meanwhile, since March 2009 most Supreme Court cases have been dominated by proceedings against parliamentarians, as several lawmakers have been disqualified in various cases, including fake degrees, dual nationalities and contempt of court.
On September 20, the Supreme Court disqualified 11 members of parliament and provincial assemblies in the dual nationality case. In 2010, it took up the cases of lawmakers who possessed fake degrees and over two-dozen lawmakers were disqualified.
Likewise, the court on February 5 suspended 28 parliamentarians and members of provincial assemblies elected during by-polls after the 18th Amendment. These legislators remained suspended until the passage of the 20th Amendment. During the current year, the court also initiated contempt of court proceedings against a number of parliamentarians, including Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Senator Babar Awan and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon. Gilani was disqualified by the apex court in his case.
The SC also took up corruption cases, including Hajj arrangements, Rental Power Projects, ephedrine quota, National Insurance Company Limited, which have affected reputations of several parliamentarians. The apex court also reviewed a number of legislations of the incumbent parliament, as after the passage of 18th Amendment in 2010, the court took up over a dozen petitions challenging various clauses of the amendment in a span of four months. The National Assembly speaker's ruling in former PM Gilani's contempt case had also been set aside by the court earlier this year.
Moreover, lawmakers have appeared in the superior court against each other also in various cases. PML-Q's Faisal Saleh Hayat and PML-N's Khawaja Asif filed petitions against awarding of contracts of Rental Power Projects.
Similarly, PML-N leader Marvi Memon appeared before the court in the case of breaches in embankments, while a federal minister appeared as a witness against another in the Hajj corruption case. In the Reko Diq case, 22 senators have become party. PTI chief Imran Khan also approached the SC for the preparation of electoral lists. Opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar also approached the SC against the appointment of the NAB chairman.