The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 on the Federal Minister for Water Resources, Muhammad Faisal Vawda, over the absence of his legal representative from proceedings in a dual nationality case against him.
The lawyer of the Federal Minister, Mohammad bin Mohsin, failed to appear before the commission.
A five-member commission headed by the Chief Election Commissioner, Sikandar Sultan Raja, conducted the hearing during which Mohsin’s associate, Hasnain Ali Chohan, submitted an application seeking postponement of the proceedings.
“The lawyer (Mohammad bin Mohsin) is in Lahore because of a case in the Lahore High Court,” Chohan apprised the commission at which one of the members, Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi, remarked that the “commission’s proceedings are not linked to the proceedings of any court”
“Bring the power of attorney. We will announce the decision after recording the statement,” he added.
The Chief Election Commissioner expressed his displeasure and rebuked the associate, saying “you were given a last chance to submit your reply during the last hearing as well”.
“You have been given the opportunity to submit your reply several times,” he said.
Another member, Irshad Qaiser, inquired about how the associate could undertake the case without having the power of attorney.
Subsequently, the ECP halted the proceedings, imposed a fine on Vawda, and summoned the minister to appear before the commission in a personal capacity in the next hearin.