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Article 62(1)(f) imposing lifetime ban is a draconian law: CJP Bandial

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  • Supreme Court hears Faisal Vawda’s lifetime disqualification case.
  • CJ says ECP has authority to probe false affidavits.
  • ECP has properly examined facts in Faisal Vawda case, says SC.

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial Tuesday termed Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution that imposes a lifetime ban of politicians a “draconian” law.

The chief justice made these remarks while a hearing a petition filed by PTI leader Faisal Vawda against his lifetime disqualification in a case pertaining to the submission of a false affidavit about his US nationality.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by CJ Umer Ata Bandial heard the case today.

“Article 62 (1)(f) is a draconian law and we will hear this case with caution and in detail,” the CJP said.

PTI’s Faisal Vawda filed a petition in the top court in February under Article 185(3) of the Constitution for leave to appeal against the order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) dated February 9 and the February 16 Islamabad High Court judgment.

Vawda had contended that the ECP order and the IHC judgment are arbitrary and without lawful authority and of no legal effect, adding that it is also contrary to the judgements of the apex court.

He prayed to the court to set aside the order of the ECP and the IHC.

In the appeal, the PTI leader pleaded that the ECP had cited no reason for invoking Article 62(1)(f) to disqualify him for life. The electoral body, it added, appears to be under an impression that any person disqualified under Article 63(1)(c) — for having dual nationality — could automatically be penalised under Article 62(1)(f).

When the SC bench took up the case today, Vawda’s counsel Waseem Sajjad said that his client contested polls in 2018 and after two years a petition was filed in the high court seeking his disqualification.

At this, the CJP said that the ECP has the authority to investigate a false affidavit submission, adding that even if the Supreme Court revokes the order, the facts would remain the same.

“The Election Commission has properly examined the facts in Faisal Vawda’s case, the only question here is whether the ECP can order disqualification for life or not.”

Later, the hearing was adjourned till October 6.

It is important to note that the apex court in April 2018 declared that the disqualification under 62(1)(f) would be for life.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tarin both are disqualified for life under the said article.

What is Article 62 (1) (f)?

Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution pertains to the qualification of members of Parliament and pertains to the terms ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’. However, it does not set a time limit for the duration of disqualification.

The article is stated below:

“A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless-

he is a citizen of Pakistan;

he is, in the case of the National Assembly, not less than twenty -five years of age and is enroled as a voter in any electoral roll in-

any part of Pakistan, for election to a general seat or a seat reserved for non-Muslims; and

any area in a Province from which she seeks membership for election to a seat reserved for women.

he is, in the case of Senate, not less than thirty years of age and is enrolled as a voter in any area in a Province or, as the case may be, the Federal Capital or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, from where he seeks membership;

he is of good character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions;

he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practises obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins ;

he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law;

he has not, after the establishment of Pakistan, worked against the integrity of the country or opposed the ideology of Pakistan.

The disqualifications specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) shall not apply to a person who is a non-Muslim, but such a person shall have good moral reputation.”

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Explanation: The increase in inflation in the United States would cause electricity costs in Pakistan to rise.

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Electricity contracts between Independent Power Plants (IPPs) and the federal government not only involve capacity costs, but also have a significant impact on the economy and the financial well-being of the population. These contracts are closely linked to the inflation rate and the value of the US dollar.

Startling disclosures have emerged regarding the exorbitant electricity tariffs in Pakistan. The Council of Economic and Energy Journalists Sage, representing the institute, provided a briefing to leading journalists in Karachi.

According to the information provided, the electricity rate component in Pakistan experienced a 253 percent increase from 2019 to 2024 as a result of inflation in America.

The data presented in the briefing indicates that the capacity charges in Pakistan were Rs3.26 per unit in 2019 and climbed to Rs10.34 per unit in 2024.

The capacity charges imposed on the public incorporate the effects of both US inflation and domestic inflation.

Due to the rise in the country’s interest rate, the interest payment for energy has climbed by 343% during a span of four years. Over the course of four years, the working capital of IPPs caused a 716 percent increase in the cost of power per unit.

The electricity rate has increased by 12 to 20 percent, with 70 percent of the charges being capacity charges.

SDPI experts recommended the government to adopt a centralised tariff policy rather than a universal electricity tariff strategy.

The power generation capacity amounts to 23,000 megawatts.

As a result of the increase in solar power generation in the country, the capacity charges will have an additional adverse impact on the residents.

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Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Court ruling: PTI to overtake all other parties in the National Assembly

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Eight independents and 84 Sunni Alliance members mean that the PTI will likely have 92 legislators in the National Assembly, according to sources.

PTI’s strength in the Lower House is expected to surge to 114 members if it regains the 22 reserved seats it previously lost.

As for the PML-N, they have 108 members in the National Assembly; PPP has 68; MQM has 21; JUI-F has 8; PML-Q has 5; and IPP has 4.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the distribution of reserved seats, the 77 extra seats meant for women and minorities were taken away from the PML-N, PPP, MQM, and JUI.

The electoral commission had on May 13 suspended the 77 Sunni Ittehad Council reserved seats on directives from the Supreme Court. 22 National Assembly seats and 55 provincial assembly seats are among the contested seats.

There are eleven seats from Punjab and eight from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National Assembly that are up for debate among women. The suspended seats also include three seats that are designated for minorities. In the National Assembly, the PPP received five seats, the JUI received three, and the PML-N received fourteen of the 22 heavily contested seats.

There are no longer any allocated seats for minorities or women in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, with 21 seats for women. In addition to the JUI-F, the PML-N was allotted seven seats, the PPP seven, and the ANP one.

The Supreme Court’s decision has suspended the three minority seats and the 24 reserved seats for women in the Punjab Assembly. The PML-N received 23, the PPP received 2, the PML-Q received 1, and the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party received 1 in Punjab.

There are now no longer any designated seats in the Sindh Assembly for women and minorities. MQM was allotted one reserved seat out of these, and the PPP two.

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