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Khawaja Asif cannot be labeled dishonest: SC issues detailed judgment in disqualification case

The Supreme Court has issued a detailed judgement in the Khawaja Asif disqualification case stating that the politician cannot be labelled dishonest for omitting to declare a small amount under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution.
In the 22-page judgment released on Friday, the top court ruled that ‘neither a case of conflict of interest is made out nor has any wrongdoing associated with any asset belonging to the petitioner has been established’.
Asif had challenged his disqualification by the Islamabad High Court in the apex court, which had overturned the disqualification ahead of the general elections; a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umer Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, had announced the verdict in Khawaja Asif’s favour.
In its complete judgment, the apex court stated that the learned High Court in its decision treated Khawaja Asif as a fulltime employee who served the company with his physical presence in UAE, highlighting that the company had submitted that the consultancy was needed on phone only.
‘……Right from the day the bank account was opened and till its closure, no business was transacted in the said account which substantiates the plea taken by the petitioner that non-disclosure was an innocent omission and not intended to conceal some wrongdoing,’ stated the order.
‘It has also not been established that the petitioner by using his official position was instrumental in extracting some undue benefit from the Federal Government in favour of the UAE Company,’ the order continued.
The top court explicitly stated that the decision of the
learned High Court in disqualifying the petitioner under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution is not sustainable in law.

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