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SC takes up plea today against allowing Dar to contest Senate poll.

Byline: Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD -- A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will take up on Tuesday a petition filed by Nawazish Ali Pirzada challenging the Lahore High Court verdict of allowing Ishaq Dar to contest the March 12 Senate elections.

In his petition, Mr Pirzada said the accountability court had declared Mr Dar an absconder on Dec 11 last year in a corruption reference after he failed to join the trial against him.

On May 9, the apex court had suspended the notification of Ishaq Dar to become a senator for his failure to appear before the court despite repeated summons. Mr Dar is required to appear in person before the court.

Mr Dar furnished before the Supreme Court a report suggesting a medical review about his health condition after two months to decide about the option of surgery.

Former finance minister has furnished a report suggesting a medical review of his health condition after two months to decide about surgery

A June 14 notorised letter was furnished before the Supreme Court on Monday in which Consultant Neurosurgeon Richard Gullan of the London Neurosurgery Partnership stated that he was going to arrange a review in two months time about the medical condition of Mr Dar and that it would be useful to get an updated MRI if necessary. The letter further stated that if the condition of Mr Dar did not improve, the consultant might re-discuss the options of some sort of surgical decompression of the appropriate nerve roots.

At this point of time, the consultant suggested, it seems wisest to continue a conservative policy by continuing with some more physiotherapy for eight weeks.

Earlier, Nasir Bhutta appeared before the court on Mr Dar's behalf and stated that he had submitted a medical certificate suggesting that Mr Dar had been suffering from left arm and chest pains resulting from a spinal issue in his neck and might require surgery if his condition did not improve within a month.

A medical report issued by the London Neurosurgery Partnership and dated April 26 stated that Mr Dar also had cardiac issues and had to undergo an emergency stent implant in the past.

The report signed by Consultant Neurosurgeon Richard Gullan stated that an MRI had shown 'quite bad spondylitic change' in Mr Dar's neck after he started experiencing 'quite unpleasant left arm and chest pain symptoms'.

Mr Pirzada had objected to the Senate election of Mr Dar by stating that he was not entitled to contest polls under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The entire system will be affected if the absconder is allowed to contest the election, he contended.

But in a rejoinder, Salman Butt had pleaded before the court to dismiss the petition for not being maintainable as well as violative of the provisions of the Constitution.

The concise statement highlighted that the 18th Amendment had repealed the amendment inserted through the Legal Framework Order and then preserved through the 17th Amendment in Article 63(1) of the Constitution in which a person convicted of having absconded was declared disqualified from contesting elections.

Thus it was abundantly clear that ever-since the enactment of the 18th Amendment, there was no prohibition under the Constitution or under any law on a person who had been declared an absconder from contesting the Senate elections, Mr Dar had pleaded.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jun 26, 2018
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