SC sets aside ECP order against PTI legislator

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday set aside a decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that sought to refer fake degree claims against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA Faisal Zaman from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to a sessions court.

Zaman was elected a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly from the Haripur district (PK-42, Haripur-III) in the 2018 general elections.

A bench of the apex court granted Zaman the right to appeal against the 2013 decision of the commission declaring his educational degree fake and sending the case to the court for further action.

In its verdict, the court observed that the ECP is not a court of law, nor was it authorised to send a matter to a court of law.

The court also reversed the order to launch criminal proceedings against him.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan on the recommendation of the Higher Education Commission declared him disqualified, but the HEC is not a court of law”, the verdict said. In 2007, the HEC declared the degree forged as the said university was not recognised by it.

“No one can be declared disqualified without recording witnesses’ accounts,” it added.

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