Election Commission violating SC directive -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Election Commission violating SC directive

ISLAMABAD: Despite clear directives of the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has not so far referred even a single case of any MP holding a fake degree to any district & sessions judge, apparently under pressure from the government.

Generally easily accessible, ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan is now not available to provide information about the implementation of the recent authoritative ruling of the apex court in which it ordered the ECP to forward the cases of all those MPs to sessions judges whose educational degrees have been established to be fake.

“In our meeting on Thursday, we will seek from the ECP the details of the cases referred to sessions judges and why there has been a delay in doing so,” National Assembly Standing Committee on Education Chairman Abid Sher Ali told The News.

He said there must not be any hurdle in sending such cases to the judges because the Supreme Court verdict was absolutely clear and fully empowered the ECP in this respect. In its latest ruling on disqualifying Sardar Malik Yar Waran, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA from Bahwalpur, the apex court ordered the ECP to forward his case to the sessions judge for trial on the charge of corrupt practices.

Abid Sher said there are over half a dozen proven cases of fake degrees of MPs that should have been instantly forwarded to the judges by the ECP.

He claimed that he had received reports that governors were pressurising the vice chancellors to drag the verification of the educational degrees sent to them by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

“Reports also speak of payment of big bucks by the bogus degree holders to the personnel of universities to get their fake certificates cleared,” Abid Sher said.

Informed officials say that the HEC is facing government pressure to delay the authentication process of the degrees. This has prompted reports of removal of HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari, a confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari for his association with the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology.

However, Abid Sher said that it was almost impossible for the government to get rid of the present HEC chairman at this stage because this would provoke a huge public outcry. Instead, he said, it is using the governors to pressurise the vice chancellors to sit on the degrees.

The HEC has given the universities the deadline of July 13 to send their reports on the degrees dispatched to them late last month.

Abid Sher said former ECP secretary Kanwar Dilshad has also been called to the meeting of the standing committee in which he would be asked as to why he did not take action against 140 plus MPs about which he now says they possess fake degrees.

Dilshad told The News that he has been invited to the meeting to extend his assistance and expert opinion on dealing with the MPs holding fake degrees.

Abid Sher said that the ECP should not wait for the comprehensive report of the HEC to be received from the universities about the doubtful degrees to send the cases of bogus certificate holders to the sessions judges in one go.
Source: The News
Date:7/7/2010