Good news for the fake degree holders
Degree condition to go ab initio
Lahore, July 20: A good news for the fake degree
holder parliamentarians is that the country's political forces are united on
striking down the bachelor's degree condition by declaring the law as being void
from the outset.
They have agreed on making necessary amendments to
declare Section 99 (1) (CC) of the Representation of the People Act 1976 as well
as Article 8A of the Chief Executive Order No 17 of 2002 as being ultra vires to
the constitution from day one.
After the passage of this amendment, the
bachelor's degree condition would stand removed from day one, and no proceedings
on this base could be taken against sitting legislators.
The degree issue
has brought a bad name to all political parties, as fake degree-holder
parliamentarians do not belong any to one party. Rather, they are associated
with almost every mainstream party.
A Higher Education Commission (HEC)
spokesman recently confirmed that 29 degrees submitted by the parliamentarians
"We received 936 degrees, of which 511 degrees have been
verified and 29 were found invalid," Mehmood Raza, an adviser at the HEC,
confirmed at a press conference the other day.
However, he refused to
give the names of parliamentarians whose certificates were declared fake.
Independent sources in the HEC say that the number of fake degree-holders has
These include members of the Senate, the National Assembly
and all four provincial assemblies.
The names include Senator Akbar
Magsi, the younger brother of Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, Sindh
Food Minister Nadir Magsi, PML-N MNA Salman Mohsin Gilani elected from NA-165
Pakpatan, PPP MPA Waseem Afzal Gondal, elected from PP-119 Mandi Bahauddin, PPP
MNA Akhundzada Chatan from Bajaur and PPP MPA Safina Saima Ghurki from
The controversy over fake degrees surfaced when Jamshed Dasti, a
PPP MNA from Muzaffargarh and chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Sports,
had to resign during proceedings against him in the Supreme Court.
Another PPP MNA, Amir Yar Waran, also resigned over the same
MNA Nazir Jatt and MPA Muhammad Ajmal Asif of the PML-Q, Naghma
Mushtaq of PML-N MPA, Rana Mubashir Iqbal from Lahore and a PML-Q MPA from
Multan also resigned to avoid possible disqualification by courts hearing
petitions challenging their academic degrees.
PML-N's MNA Javed Hasnain
and MPA Rizwan Naurez Gill from Sargodha and MPA Malik Yasir Raza from
Rawalpindi were declared ineligible by the Lahore High Court for holding fake
Liaquat Ali Ghumman, another MPA of the same party from
Sialkot, sent his resignation to the party leadership before the court issued a
verdict against him.
The situation was so embarrassing for party leaders
that while speaking on the floor of the House, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani
had to say that parliamentarians' degrees should not be a hurdle in their
eligibility and that the parliamentarians should collectively protect
parliament, as it was being maligned over the issue of fake degrees.
said there were several MNAs in the House, who had fake degrees and their cases
were pending, but parliament would have to respect the mandate until there was a
The political leadership considered the matter at length
and saw a ray of hope after a decision by the Supreme Court on a constitutional
petition against the condition of having a bachelor's degree for contesting
election to the Senate and national or provincial assembly seats.
seven-member bench of the Supreme Court struck down the condition declaring the
provision contrary to Articles 17 and 25 of the Constitution on 20 April, 2009.
Then chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar,
Justice Ejazul Hassan, Justice Moosa K Leghari, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Yousaf,
Justice Syed Zawwar Hussain Jaffery and Syed Sakhi Hussain Bukhari were the
members of that bench.
The bench said, "For reasons to be recorded
later, this petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution of the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan, 1973 is allowed. The provisions of Article 8A of the
Conduct of General Election Order, 2002 (Chief Executive's Order No. 7 of 2002)
and clause (CC) of subsection (1) of section 99 of the Representation of the
People Act, 1976, which lays down that a person shall not be qualified to be
elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) or a provincial
assembly unless he is at least a graduate possessing a bachelor's degree in any
discipline or any degree recognised as equivalent by the University Grants
Commission under the University Grants Commission Act 1974 ,or any other law for
the time being in force are declared to be void prospectively on account of
their being inconsistent with Articles 17 and 25 of the
The petitioners have pleaded that the provisions of
Section 99 (1) (CC) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 as well as
Article 8A of the Chief Executive Order No 17 of 2002 may be declared ultra
vires to the Constitution and set aside.
The cabinet followed the
decision of the Supreme Court and passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2009,
and abolished the graduation clause for taking part in elections, which had been
introduced by Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf.
This decision of the Supreme
Court and the amendment in the relevant laws was beneficial for the candidates
contesting elections after the approval of the House to law, but the existing
legislators could not get relief from it.
"The Dogar court struck down
the law declaring it ultra vires to the basic clauses of the Constitution, but
with an addition of prospective effect of the law. This was to control the
persons having degrees from madrassas (seminaries). Actually, they wanted to
have legislators of religious parties under the thumb of the government. The law
should have been abolished from day one as no legislation can be made contrary
to the clauses of the Constitution," Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan
commented while talking to this scribe.
The issue of fake degrees has put
the politicians on the backfoot and forced them to contact constitutional
Constitutional experts, sympathisers of different political
parties, after dilating upon the judgment advised that any law which is against
the constitution could not be made and if declared unconstitutional would stand
null and void from the day it came into being.
The Article 17(1) of the
Constitution reads, "Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or
unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of
sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or morality."
Article 25(1) of the article says, "All citizens are equal before law and are
entitled to equal protection of law."
Legal experts told party
leaderships that the law of imposing educational condition was also against the
UN Charter. One of the constitutional experts quoted a UN resolution, adopted by
the General Assembly on December 10. Article 21(1) of the UN Charter reads,
"Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly
or through freely chosen representatives."
The political forces have
initiated 'backdoor diplomacy' on the issue and are now united to end the law ab
initio. The bill regarding this amendment is on cards.
for Law Babar Awan while talking to a select group of journalists has also
hinted on an amendment to the law. Daily times
Although HEC has authority to check the degrees but it has no authority to give biased and controversial statements in media against anyone. But Mr. Laghari is appearing to be indulged in disease of getting political fame in Pakistan in only a few days by giving such statements in media against government & politicians. Specially, Mr. Laghari's tussle with Latif Khosa has become very popular in media which has given more than 4 stars to Mr. Laghari (an Urdu probe having 4 stars) and his fame. Media has sidelined the true stand of Latif Khosa and has started promoting new establishment icon Mr. Laghari after the declining fame of Iftikhar Chaudhary"
Name: Saleem Younis
City, Country: Islamabad, pakistan
"Excellent. Very sensitive site ."
City, Country: Pakistan
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HEC sends MPAs' degrees for verification
Peshawar: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has sent the bachelor degrees of
all members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for verification and the task
would be completed in the next few days, an official confirmed on
A concerned MPA, who wished not to be named said that
the government had made arrangements to summon the assembly session, which could
be called within the next few days.
Though the lawmaker said the
government wanted to pass some important bills, some of them fear they may not
be able to attend the next session if the HEC completed the verification
The HEC has sent the testimonials of all the members for
verification who had submitted their degrees with their papers while the
documents of others would be verified later.
The completion of
verification process, the lawmaker said, would clear the prevailing uncertainty
among some members and end the ongoing claims and counter-claims. "There could
be no truth in some reports but it would also clear the mess," he said, posing a
question jokingly as to whether the list also carried his name or not.
Regarding the women parliamentarians, the HEC officials were not sure as
to how many degrees of elected representatives were bogus. The members hailing
from various political parties, however, feared that the lists would carry the
names of more than the reported two among the women members.
lawmakers hailing from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Gulistan Khan and Kishore
Kumar, have been disqualified for having fake degrees while the names of the
remaining members have so far not been confirmed, although the list is swelling
with each passing day. The list of fake degree holders carries the names from
almost all political parties and independent candidates.
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PU declares four MPAs' degrees fake
Lahore: Punjab University on Monday sent back 63 degrees after
verification to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and out of them four
degrees, one of a senator and three of MPAs of the Punjab Assembly, were
The degree of another MPA from the Punjab Assembly was
found suspicious as discrepancy has been found between particulars provided to
the Punjab University (PU) by the HEC and the relevant record available with the
varsity's examination branch.
A PU spokesman said among three of the MPAs
whose degrees had been found bogus one MPA was already disqualified while
another had resigned as per a court decision. He said the verification report on
the remaining 73 degrees would be sent to the HEC on July 27.
spokesman added eight degrees of parliamentarians which were returned to the
Higher Education Commission for being vague and illegible had been again
received by the PU on Monday.
Notices over bogus institutes: The Lahore
High Court on Monday issued notices to the attorney general Pakistan and
advocate general Punjab on a petition challenging the mushroom growth of fake
educational institutions in the country.
The petition was filed by
Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey who had sought court's directions for the
government to close down all the fake and unrecognised colleges and
universities. The petitioner submitted that scores of bogus and ghost
institutions were functioning unchecked in the country, adding that they were
playing havoc with the careers of youth.
He pointed out that the
government had no mechanism to check private colleges and universities and they
were minting money from students providing nothing in return. The court issued
notices for July 27. The news
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EC yet to receive record of fake degrees from HEC
Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan is yet to receive from
the Higher Education Commission the record of fake degrees of parliamentarians
to launch the process of declaring them ineligible to hold their offices.
"We have not yet received a single case from the HEC," ECP secretary
Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said on Monday.
He said that in the light of the
Supreme Court judgment the ECP would not require any reference either from the
Senate chairman or speakers of the national and provincial assemblies to
disqualify a legislator for holding fake degree. He said that a reference was
not required when the cause of action was there before the polls were held.
Mr Ishtiak, however, conceded that the ECP had not yet nominated a
senior officer to supervise the process of sending such cases to sessions
judges. "We are looking at legal, constitutional and administrative aspects and
are in the process of working out modalities for implementation which will be
done this week." Answering a question, he said there was no immediate plan to
verify the degrees of all the candidates who had taken part in the 2008
"Right now we are implementing the SC judgment which only
mentioned the sitting lawmakers. However, we can look into it (the issue of all
candidates) after the process of verification of degrees of 1,100 members of the
Senate and national and provincial assemblies is completed."
said that a long exercise was required to verify the degrees of thousands of
candidates because it needed to be started from the 2002 general election when
the condition of holding a graduate degree was introduced. The condition also
applied to the 2008 election.
About 15,000 candidates contested the
general elections in 2002 and 2008.
In 2002, 3,270 candidates were
declared eligible for National Assembly seats after disposal of appeals against
acceptance and rejection of nomination papers, with almost half of them (1579)
from Punjab alone. About 653 candidates from Punjab either withdrew their papers
or retired from the race, bringing the number of candidates on the polling day
The number of validly nominated candidates from Sindh dropped to
613 from 848 and those from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to 234 from 408. And 111 of 186
candidates from Fata and 127 of 204 from Balochistan contested elections for NA
The number of validly nominated candidates from Islamabad was 47
of whom 19 withdrew their papers and one retired from the race, bringing down
the number of candidates to 27.
The number of candidates for provincial
assembly seats in 2002 was 4,986 – 2,362 from Punjab, 1,516 from Sindh, 628 from
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 480 from Balochistan.
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Brother of HEC chief released on bail
Hyderabad: The special judge (provincial) anti corruption granted bail
to Farooq Leghari against Rs100,000 on Monday.
The court had
earlier granted him bail against Rs200,000 in a crime case.
who is younger brother of Chairman of the Higher Education Commission Dr Javed
Leghari, had been released and was rearrested on July 12 on the charge of
corruption committed while he was DCO of Tando Allahyar and Tando Mohammad Khan.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court has directed
the chairman of Anti Corruption Establishment to appear before the court on July
21 to explain about departmental proceedings against Dr Farooq. Dawn
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LHC refuses media bar over fake degrees
Lahore: A member of the Punjab Assembly, facing a fake degree case in
court, made another attempt on Monday to launch a vilification campaign against
the media when his lawyer sought a restraining order from Lahore High Court
Judge Justice Sh Azmat Saeed against media, saying his client was facing a media
Malik Iqbal Langrial, who had won election from PP-226,
Chichawatni, on a PML-Q ticket, is contesting an election petition moved against
him by Saifur Rehman of the PML-N, a defeated candidate from the same
As proceedings started on Monday, Langrial's counsel
started spewing venom against media persons, saying they were unnecessarily
dragging the issue and his client was being presented as a cheat.
judge, however, turned down his plea, saying that Article 19-A inserted through
18th Amendment, provided protection to the access to information. He said that
if someone had any complaints about misreporting, he could take a legal course
against that reporter and newspaper. The judge made it clear that it was media
persons' right to report court proceedings with precision.
error could be overlooked. But a deliberate attempt to tarnish image of a
person, is an offence and victim could initiate legal proceedings," Justice
Saeed said, adding that the respondent's lawyer was perhaps complaining against
the media reports on Higher Education Commission which was verifying degrees of
"If the HEC's reports are true then there is no
harm in its publication. The media could face music only if it is publishing
news contrary to the HEC's reports," the judge further remarked. As far as case
proceedings are concerned, the court directed the respondent MPA to produce
witnesses before the local commission for recording evidence on July 23. The
court will resume proceedings on July 24.
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HEC team visits PU
Lahore: A threee members' team of HEC accreditation council in agriculture education visited
Punjab University (PU) Institute of Plant Pathology. A press release said the
team comprised DG NARC Prof Dr Iftikhar Ahmed and Prof Dr Irfan-ul-Haq of PMS
Agricultural University, Islamabad while Dr Naseer Alam was present as a
representative of NEAC. The team also interacted with the faculty members and
students of the institute. The news
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