ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended the National Assembly membership of Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) MNA Begum Shehnaz Sheikh who allegedly holds Australian citizenship, Media reported.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a case pertaining to lawmakers holding dual nationality.During the hearing, no one appeared to represent Sheikh, who had also served as the minister of state for health during the military regime of Pervez Musharraf, in spite of a Supreme Court notice on the matter.
Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked that the fact that no one appeared on Sheikh’s behalf implied that she was simply not interested in the issue.The chief justice moreover said that a notice had also been issued to secretary National Assembly in this regard.
The bench subsequently directed Sheikh to submit a response on the matter in three days’ time and ordered MNA Capt (retd) Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral to submit his response over the allegation that he was a Canadian national today.The Supreme Court had issued notices to the two lawmakers over allegations that they were dual nationals.
Verdict against dual national lawmakers
On Sept 20, the Supreme Court had disqualified 11 members of parliament and provincial assemblies, but had spared Malik for the time being. The only sentence Malik received for submitting a false declaration was a court observation that he could not be considered sagacious, righteous, honest and ameen.
However, like other lawmakers, the minister will be facing legal proceedings by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which may entail a punishment of up to seven years and also require him to reimburse all monetary benefits drawn by him up to July 11, 2012, for the period he occupied the public office. – Dawn