The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the Senate membership of former finance minister Ishaq Dar after he failed to appear before the court today.

Dar’s lawyer informed the court that he was unwell which is why he had been unable to appear before the court.

“Whenever someone is ill, their medical certificate is presented,” remarked Justice Ijazul Ahsan, rejecting Dar’s medical report.

The court gave orders of his suspension from Senate while hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Nawazish Ali Pirzada — who had received 12 votes as a Senate candidate on technocrat seat from Punjab against Dar’s 155.The case was adjourned until after Eidul Fitr after Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar announced he was going abroad for two weeks.

Senator-elect Dar has been suffering from left arm and chest pains resulting from a spinal issue in his neck and may require surgery if his condition does not improve within a month, the SC was informed yesterday.

The apex court had summoned the former finance minister, who has been in London since October 2017 and was declared absconder by an accountability court in a corruption reference, on May 8 in a petition challenging his election to the Senate.

A medical report submitted by Dar’s counsel in the SC yesterday, which has been issued by the London Neurosurgery Partnership and dated April 26, stated that Dar has also had cardiac issues and had to undergo an emergency stent implant in the past.

Senators express reservations over verdict
Former chairman Senate Raza Rabbani and Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq expressed their reservations at SC’s decision to suspend Dar’s Senate membership today.

According to Elections Act 2017, the powers to suspend membership of a lawmaker lie with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which can suspend a lawmaker’s membership for failing to submit details of assets, Rabbani said.

Meanwhile Haq said he was astonished that the apex court had taken the decision despite being provided with medical reports.

Both the Senators, as well as Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, said they were waiting for the detailed verdict in the case.

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