Court summons report on minister`s degree
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday summoned the report of an inquiry conducted by Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, regarding the graduation degree of senior provincial minister Rahimdad Khan.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Yahya Afridi allowed an application filed by a petitioner, Farman Khattak, requesting for summoning of the said inquiry report as it was a vital document. The bench fixed June 28 for the next hearing.
The application was filed by Mr Khattak, requesting the court to disqualify Mr Rahimdad from holding the office of MPA as he was not a graduate, a precondition for contesting the general elections of 2008.
Advocate Qazi Mohammad Anwer appeared for the petitioner and stated that Mr Rahimdad had contested election from PF-27, Mardan. He stated that Mr Rahimdad produced a graduation degree according to which he had passed the examination in 2005.
He stated that according to the record, the roll number given by him belonged to a candidate Rahimdad son of Bangi Khan, a resident of Serai Naurang in Lakki Marwat. He added that in the application given by the minister for getting the degree he mentioned the name as Rahimdad son of Saifullah Khan.
Mr Anwer stated that last year the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission for verification of degrees of all the lawmakers following which the commission referred degrees to Higher Education Commission which sent those to the concern universities. The vice-chancellor of Gomal University constituted a high-level committee for conducting inquiry into the degree of Mr Rahimdad Khan, he added.
The counsel argued that according to that inquiry Mr Rahimdad had neither appeared in the examination nor he was registered with the university and he had manoeuvred with the then vice-chancellor, registrar, etc to get a graduation degree.
Mr Anwer argued that the present petition was filed after the polls whereas the inquiry report was a subsequent development. He added that the said inquiry was an essential document and the court had the powers to summon the same. In support of his contention, he referred to the famous case of former MPA Malik Imran and contended that the high court had disqualified him on almost same grounds.
Advocate Abdul Lateef Yousafzai appeared for Mr Rahimdad and raised preliminary objection over the application arguing that it was very vague and in it nothing was mentioned when the said inquiry was conducted and when its report was finalised. He stated that the present petition was based on mala fide intentions as the petitioner was brother of a candidate, Shahid Khan, who had lost election to Mr Rahimdad.
Meanwhile, the bench adjourned hearing to June 28 of a writ petition filed by Mr Rahimdad challenging an order of the election tribunal in which it had summoned the report of the said inquiry. The court had earlier restrained the election tribunal from examining that report in the election petitions filed against Mr Rahimdad.
Similarly, the bench also adjourned hearing of another writ petition challenging the election of provincial minister, Sher Azam Wazir, on the ground that he possessed fake graduation degree and was not qualified to hold the office of MPA. The petition is filed by Waheedullah Khan, a voter of his constituency in Bannu.