Ex-Indian SC judge explains how Imran Khan’s disqualification is ‘totally flawed’

The poll supervisor disqualified Khan under the Article 63(1)(p) of the constitution.

Ex-Indian SC judge explains how Imran Khan's disqualification is 'totally flawed'

Former Indian Supreme Court Judge, Justice Markandey Katju has stated that there was a ‘fundamental defect’ in ECP’s decision to disqualify PTI chief Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

In the absence of any previous verdict of the election tribunal that proved Imran Khan guilty of the corrupt practice, he said that the judgement on ECP is ‘misconceived and not correct’ since it is not linked to any judgment of the election tribunal.

How Imran Khan’s disqualification is flawed

The poll supervisor disqualified Khan under the Article 63(1)(p) of the constitution, read with Sections 137 (submission of statement of assets and liabilities), 167 (corrupt practice) and 173 (making a false statement and publishing it) of the Elections Act 2017. In addition to this, ECP also ordered a legal action against Imran in accordance to Section 190 (2) (proceedings against an individual for involvement in corrupt practices).

According to Section 137(4) of the Pakistan Election Act, a member who submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this particular section which is found ‘false in material particulars,’ may within a period of 120 days from the date of statement submission be proceeded against for ‘committing the offence of corrupt practice.’

The jurist explained that Section 140 provided for an election tribunal and according to Section 142, an election petition must be filed within a period of 45 days after the declaration of the result in the official gazette. Section 173(d) is about filing a false statement of assets.

He further said that there is a proper procedure, which is given in Pakistan Election Act that explains how election results can be voided for a corrupt practice (including filing a false declaration of assets).

Justice Markanday stressed that only the election tribunal has the authority to do that and not the election commission. Moreover, he also explained that Section 63(1)(p) of the Pakistani constitution states that a member, who is disqualified under any law, can be disqualified.

In addition to this, Section 63(2) says that if any question arises regarding the member of a parliament being disqualified as being a member, the speaker, refers the question to election commission in a time duration of 30 days. The election commission should decide a conclusion on the reference within 90 days, as mentioned in Section 63(3).

The Indian jurist said that the section 63 did give power to the election commission to disqualify a member of the National Assembly. But, the right interpretation of the provision means that the commission has the right to do so in regards to a corrupt practice only after a verdict finding corrupt practice has been committed is provided by the election tribunal.

He further added that other than this, both the Election Commission and Election Tribunal can decide on allegations of corrupt practice. But it would be anomalous if they give conflicting verdicts.

‘There is no verdict of the election tribunal against Imran Khan which holds him guilty of any such corrupt practice. Hence, the judgement of election commission is totally flawed,’ he concluded.

What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below. 

Featured Content⭐