ISLAMABAD    -   Since Ishaq Dar is set to assume charge of finance minister, the ECP has reserved verdict over a peti­tion seeking to declare former finance minister’s Senate seat “vacant” over his failure to take oath as a Senator. A lawmaker has to take oath as Senator within two months of the election. Former Finance Minister Ishaq Daq was elected to the Senate from Punjab but could not administer a oath as he left for London in 2017 on medical ground.

He has been declared a proclaimed offender in a corruption case registered by accountability body [NAB]. A couple of days before, the accountability court suspended the arrest warrants of Ishaq Dar till October 7.

In Monday’s hearing, PML-N’s counsel informed the court that his client’s victory notification as Senator was issued on March 9, 2018. The ECP withdrew a notification of Ishaq Dar’s election as a senator on March 29, 2018. A petition, moved by PPP’s Nawazish Pirzada, had requested the apex court to suspend the Lahore High Court judgment allowing Dar to contest the Senate elections.

“On January 10, 2022, Ishaq Dar was reinstat­ed to the Senate by the ECP,” the lawyer said and asked how could his client take oath as a senator when his victory’s notification was suspended by the election body. “The ordinance about 60 days for taking oath does not apply on his client,” ar­gued Dar’s counsel.

“The ordinance lapsed after completing its con­stitutional life,” the lawyer argued, adding that a member cannot be disqualified if he does not take oath even for 5 years.The provision of disqualifi­cation for not taking the oath within 2 months has been removed from the election act, he clarified