ISLAMABAD,(SANA): The Supreme Court has ordered lower courts to conclude all fake degree cases by April 4. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been directed to inform the court, during the next hearing, on what basis the fake degree cases were closed.
A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry conducted hearing of the fake degree implementation case on Thursday.
During proceedings, reports regarding the pending fake degree cases across the country were submitted by the ECP and registrars of the provincial high courts.
According to ECP report, 34 cases of bogus degrees were sent to the courts. In Punjab, the number of such cases is 19 while two MPs were acquitted.
Chief Justice said that there were only eight cases of forged degrees in Punjab that are currently being heard in Kasur, Lahore, Muzafergarh, Pak Patan, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal and Sargodha.
ECP apprised the bench that fake degree cases were also revealed in Gujrat and Gujranwala as well.
On which, the chief justice said that then the challans of those cases must not have been presented yet.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued notices to those 20 members of the former parliament who had resigned over the issue of dual-nationality.
The former lawmakers against whom the court issued notices include Dr Asim Hussain, Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi, Murad Ali Shah, Dr Muhammad Ali Shah (late), Sadiq Ali Memon, Abdul Moeed Siddiqui, Askari Taqvi, Muhammad Raza Haroon, Dr Nadeem Ehsan, Syed Tayyab Hassan, Fauzia Ejaz, Sabeen Rizvi, Arish Kumar, Dr Donya Aziz, Arif Aziz Sheikh, Jamil Ahmed Malik, Faiza Asghar, Dr Tahir Ali, Jamil Ashraf and Javaid Iqbal Tarkai.
Chief Justice inquired that what action was taken against these parliamentarians. The court had ordered action and recovery of all the privileges from dual-national parliamentarians, he added.
The court inquired from the ECP about the reasons for not disqualifying the dual-nation lawmakers and asked as to why criminal cases were not proceeded against the former members of provincial and national assemblies, when they had submitted their resignations.
The Election Commission informed the bench that reasons of their resignations were forwarded to the returning officer.
The court also refereed to the dual nationality case pertaining to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) lawmaker Shehnaz Sheikh, whose national assembly membership was suspended and was ordered to return back all perks and privileges received as a lawmaker and said that the same action was not taken in other cases pertaining to dual nationality.
The bench directed the respondents to appear before court on April in person or through counsel.