ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday dismissed an intra-court appeal (ICA) which sought to disqualify Member National Assembly Ayesha Gulalai.
A division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb dismissed the petition declaring it “without merit”, adding that the petitioner was not an aggrieved person nor has the petition pointed out any legal infirmity or jurisdictional error in the single bench’s order.
The court was referring to the September 22 order by the single bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq who had dismissed Advocate Kulsum Khaliq’s petition.
At the very outset, while hearing the petition, the court asked the appellant whether the Election Commission of Pakistan had started disqualification proceedings against the PTI MNA after the National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had forwarded a reference against her to the apex poll body. Khaliq’s reply was affirmative.
The division bench then noted that the Constitution outlines a clear procedure for disqualifying a member of parliament and that when the law prescribes that something has to be done in a particular manner, then it has to be done in that manner alone and not otherwise.
Admittedly, the order read, that proceedings relating to Gulalai’s disqualification were pending before the ECP and, hence, any adjudication on the constitutional petition filed by Khaliq would be tantamount to interference in the ECP’s proceedings.
The bench, subsequently, dismissed the petition.
In the petition, Khaliq had contended that Gulalai levelled baseless allegations of harassment against PTI Chief Imran Khan without presenting any evidence and had breached the public trust on the floor of the National Assembly. The petitioner further submitted that the MNA lied about initiating legal proceedings against the PTI chief and asked the court to disqualify her.
On August 1, Gulalai had accused the PTI chief and his ‘gang’ of sending lewd text messages to women workers, claiming that they were constantly harassed within the party. The disgruntled lawmaker had said that the victims of harassment in Pakistan were ignored unless they commit suicide or take similar adverse steps to get themselves noticed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2017.
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