The Supreme Court (SC) has revoked Faisal Vawda’s lifetime disqualification after he tendered an unconditional apology before the court on Friday.
However, Vawda will remain disqualified till 2023 and is eligible to contest the next general or Senate elections, as per the apex court’s order.
The development comes as a three-member apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha Malik heard the plea against Vawda’s lifelong disqualification ruling of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
“Faisal Vawda has admitted the mistake. If he did not admit the mistake, the case of lifelong disqualification would continue,” said the CJP
The Supreme Court also ordered Faisal Vawda to resign from the Senate seat.
Former PTI leader Faisal Vawda remains disqualified under Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution, under which a legislator loses membership in parliament for one term only.
According to Article 63(1)(c): A person will be disqualified from being elected or chosen member of parliament if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state.
During the hearing of the case, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah: “We have enough material to disqualify you for life. If you want to say something in your defence, the case of lifelong disqualification will continue.”
CJ Umar Ata Bandial said: “We have not summoned you to the Supreme Court to humiliate you. It has never been the desire of the court to humiliate the members of the Parliament. [But] you made a false statement in your nomination papers as a member of the National Assembly.”
CJP added: “The purpose of the court is not to punish anyone but to regulate according to law. You had filed an application to give up dual nationality, but the application was not approved at that time.”
CJP told Faisal Vawda: “If you admit the mistake, you will be disqualified for five years. You misled everyone for three years. Apologise before the court first and then say I resign. If you apologise in front of the court and resign with good intentions, the disqualification will be for five years.”
Faisal Vawda while appearing before the court said: “There was no intention to give a false affidavit. I will accept whatever the court orders.”
At this, Justice Ayesha Malik told Faisal Vawda to “Say what you are being asked before the court.”
CJP added: “Say that according to the law, you were not eligible to be a member of the assembly at that time. If you admit the mistake, you will be disqualified from the commencement of the term of the current assembly.”
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah questioned Vawda that “Which year is the citizenship renunciation certificate of and when did you resign as a member of the assembly?”
To which Faisal Vawda replied: “I gave up dual citizenship on June 25, 2018. I resigned from the National Assembly seat on March 30, 2021.”
CJP remarked: “Faisal Vawda has been a member of the National Assembly for three years. The Supreme Court does not want to degrade the parliamentarians. Your lifelong disqualification will be void, but you have to resign from the Senate seat.”
He added: “We are not making hurting the court’s confidence the base of the case. The Supreme Court has given relief to senators several times.”
Faisal Vawda responding to the question said: “I admit that I have resigned myself with good intentions. I accept disqualification under Article 63(1)(C).”
The top court accepted Faisal Vawda’s apology and annulled the order of his lifelong disqualification.
Fasial Vawda’s media talk:
before the hearing of the case Fasial Vawda while speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court, said that he would accept whatever the court ordered.
“I am no longer a part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). But despite that, I never spoke about Imran Khan before, nor will I do that in future. Imran Khan will come to Islamabad and hold a rally. Politics will start from there,” Faisal Vawda maintained.