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October 12, 2018

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Vawda put on notice over disqualification plea

Vawda put on notice over disqualification plea

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday issued a notice to Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on a petition filed against him for concealing the details of his properties out of the country.

Petitioner Qadir Khan Mandokhel said in the petition that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Vawda, who was elected MNA from the National Assembly constituency NA-249 (West-II), submitted a false declaration with regard to his assets and properties, United States nationality and bank loans while submitting his nomination papers to the relevant returning officer.

Mandokhel claimed that Vawda was still a US national and that he had not surrendered his nationality. The petitioner contended that his objection was not properly considered by the returning officer when he had raised it at the time the nomination papers were filed.

He said the PTI candidate had concealed the financial assistance of approximately Rs40 million obtained from the former Royal Bank of Scotland in the 2000s for the purpose of purchasing a 2,033-square-yard bungalow in the Defence Housing Authority’s Phase-V, adding that he also failed to provide the money trail of the purchases of his overseas properties.

The petitioner said that the respondent had failed to provide the details of his mortgage loan obtained from the United Kingdom and Malaysian banks, concealed the description of his moveable properties and failed to provide documentary evidences.

He also claimed that the PTI candidate, despite possessing assets worth over Rs130 million, did not pay a single paisa as tax and concealed the facts from the Federal Board of Revenue.

He said that due to the concealment of certain facts from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the MNA does not fulfil the mandatory requirements of Article 62 of the Constitution for being an eligible candidate of the parliament, requesting that he be disqualified.

The court was informed that the security guard present at Vawda’s house refused to receive the court notice as the MNA was out of the city.

The SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar said the notice is to be served one last time to the respondent at his official residence in Islamabad through the NA speaker.

The court said that if no one appeared on behalf of the respondent, the matter shall move forward on the basis of the available record and documents. The court also directed the ECP’s counsel to file comments on the petition and adjourned the hearing until November 13.

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