ECP says authorised to rule on disqualification reference

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The Election Commission of Pakistan has said that it has the authority to entertain lawmakers’ disqualification reference sent to it by the speaker of an assembly in line with the constitution.

The commission’s observations were made in the detailed decision on PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s disqualification in the Toshakhana reference.

In a consensus, the ECP’s five-member bench disqualified Khan Friday as he submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).

In the detailed verdict, the ECP said: “The Commission is competent to entertain the reference from the Speaker under Article 63(2) of the Constitution and adjudicate upon the same under Article 63(3) and the Question of disqualification as and when raised is not dependent upon time.”

The order further added that the commission has the jurisdiction to entertain the reference forwarded by the National Assembly speaker, with respect to the disqualification of lawmakers.

The commission mentioned that Khan has admitted that he retained five gift items after paying a total amount of Rs11,684,250 (eleven million six hundred eighty-four thous and two hundred fifty) and that the total cost amount has been declared against precious items in the statement of assets and liabilities for the year 2020-21.

The same declaration has also been made in the Tax Returns for the year 2020-21. However, Khan, according to the ECP, declared them under the heading of personal use in his declaration.

“No details of the gift items in regard to particulars of items have been disclosed in column number 3 of Form-B […] the respondent was required to declare these items under various headings specifically defined in Form-B under the main heading of moveable assets,” the ECP mentioned.

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