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Feb
13

The Supreme Court on Wednesday discarded the petition filed by Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief, Dr Tahirul Qadri, seeking reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

dr-tahirul-qadriThe court said Qadri had failed to convince the bench over his petition and the intentions behind filing it.

The court ruled that Qadri had failed to show that the question that he was raising came under the ambit of Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

The bench also hinted at initiating contempt proceedings against the TMQ chief but Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry advised the court to exercise restraint in the matter.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar, heard the petition.

Earlier during the hearing, the court had asked the TMQ chief as to how his fundamental rights had been violated with the current makeup of the commission.

In his remarks, the chief justice had said a number of political parties were not part of the current parliament but they had not expressed any reservations on the ECP’s constitution.

The chief justice had also inquired as to how the TMQ chief had suddenly returned from Canada to question the commission’s organisation, adding that Qadri would have to convince the bench over his sincerity in the matter.

The bench had moreover questioned Qadri as to how his fundamental rights had been violated with the current makeup of the ECP.

The bench had questioned the petitioner as to when he was elected as a member of the National Assembly, responding to which Qadri had said he was elected as a representative from NA-127 in 2002.

The court had also asked the TMQ chief as to when he acquired Canadian citizenship and the chief justice had later remarked that Qadri did not identify himself as a Pakistani when abroad.

Responding to which, Qadri had said he believed that he was being tried for being a dual national and that his loyalty to Pakistan was being questioned.

Also during the hearing, Qadri had waved a photo of the oath-taking ceremony of the chief justice from former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. In response to which, the bench had barred the TMQ chief from continuing his arguments.

A series of dialogues had been exchanged between the bench and Qadri and the chief justice had said the cleric had ridiculed the court, adding that the petitioner’s intentions appeared to be malafide.

Moreover, Attorney General Irfan Qadir had argued that Qadri satisfied the requirements in terms of locus standi, adding that the petitioner’s intentions could not be questioned in the absence of evidence to support the claim of insincerity.

An argument had also ensued between the attorney general and the chief justice over whether Qadri’s plea to reconstitute the election commission months prior to the upcoming polls could be considered as sincere.

Earlier on Tuesday, the issue of locus standi (right to appear) was discussed by the apex court.

Qadri had apparently failed to establish that he had the right to knock at the doors of the Supreme Court and seek the ECP’s reconstitution.

“Dr Sahib our anxiety is that you are not an ordinary individual but a jurist, a scholar, rather Sheikhul Islam, and deliver lectures in over 90 countries to bring people to the folds of Islam, but you are showing allegiance not only to Queen Elizabeth but also her successors,” Chief Justice Iftikhar had said on Tuesday.

“This petition of yours asks us to think over these issues,” the chief justice had stated and had repeatedly asked how Qadri could attack a constitutional institution by approaching another institution when in a third country he was not a Pakistani.

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