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Three legislators resign for holding fake degrees

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By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: Two MNAs and one MPA of the Punjab Assembly on Thursday tendered their resignations before the Supreme Court (SC) to avoid disqualification in three different cases of holding fake degrees.

A six-member larger bench of the SC, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ch Ijaz Ahmed, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi, Justice Tariq Pervez, and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, was hearing their fake-degree cases.

Jamshaid Dasti of the PPP and Nazir Jatt of the PML-Q submitted their resignations before the court. The court directed the Election Commission to arrange by-election in NA-167, Vehari-I; NA-178, Muzzafargarh-III; and PP-63, Faisalabad; in accordance with the law, besides directing the National Assembly secretary to issue a notification of vacant seat of NA-178, Muzzafargarh; within three days.

During the course of hearing, Dasti, who is also the chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports, failed to answer a volley of questions by the court.He told the court that he had done a course of Dars-e-Nizami. He, however, remained unable to tell the court even about the duration of the course.

The PPP MNA failed to answer the questions of the court about the total number of Surahs in the Holy Qur’aan, including the names of any of the five Surahs. Justice Ramday questioned Dasti: “How you did the Dars-e-Nizami course, as you even don’t know the names of five Surahs?”

The chief justice remarked that it was impossible for the court to let Dasti scot-free, as he represented parliament, adding: “I think your membership should be suspended.” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that his replies have become shame for parliament. The court, before announcing the verdict, asked him to resign himself, otherwise, the court decision would create difficulties for him, as he would not be able to contest the by-elections.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rauf, the counsel for Dasti, told the court that his client had opted to resign. Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Jatt of the PML-Q, the MNA from NA-167, Vehari-I, did not appear before the court. However, his counsel told the court that his client had sent his resignation to the National Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday.

He said his client did not resign due to holding of a fake degree, but that he wanted to join the PML-N. Muhammad Ajmal, MPA, from PP-63 (Faisalabad-XIII) also resigned on Thursday due to holding a fake degree. Rana Aftab of the PPP had challenged the election of Ajmal on the grounds that Ajmal had obtained a fake degree from Darul Uloom Mehmoodia, Bannu.

The petitioner submitted that the Wifaqul Madaris had already stated that the Darul Uloom in question was not a recognised institution and the certificate possessed by the respondent was bogus.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

March 26, 2010 at 6:05 am