Dar gets two months to take Senate oath as SC bins disqualification request

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition against former finance minister Ishaq Dar seeking his disqualification from the Senate on account of being an absconder in multiple graft cases registered against him.

Dar, a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader who is in self-exile since 2017, was elected in absentia as a senator on a technocrat seat from Punjab in March 2018 but did not take oath due to his stay in London.

The Supreme Court disqualified him from office in July 2017 after an investigation into the undisclosed wealth of now-deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

In May 2018, the apex judicial form suspended his membership of the House over his failure to appear in court despite repeated summons.

He, however, later informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) he was ready to take the oath but the only hurdle in doing so was the apex court’s suspension of his election.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Justice Ijaz ul-Ahsan observed the petitioner failed to appear before the bench and Dar has also skipped the proceedings since the beginning.

Therefore, the court was dismissing the petition.

In view of today’s ruling, the notification for Dar’s election is expected to be issued that will allow him to take oath within two months.

A similar reference was also filed with the ECP earlier this month. The petitioner requested the commission to disqualify him as a member of the Senate.

He said a court declared the opposition senator-elect as a defaulter in the case of appointment of columnist Atta ul-Haq Qasmi as the managing director of state-run Pakistan Television Corporation.

The Senate chairman is bound to send a disqualification reference to the Commission under Article 63 of the Constitution but he has failed to do so, he lamented.

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