ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Monday turned down Dr Farooq Sattar’s petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to remove him as convener of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq announced the judgment which he had reserved earlier on April 16 after hearing the arguments of all parties.

During the hearing, Babar Sattar Advocate had appeared before the court on behalf of Farooq Sattar and Barrister Farough Naseem represented MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui in this matter.

Babar Sattar had contended before the court that the ECP did not have the jurisdiction to interfere in a political party’s internal affairs. He maintained that since MQM-P is registered under Farooq’s name, the ECP does not have the authority to hear cases by another person who claims to be party’s convener.

Dr Farooq Sattar moved the IHC challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s verdict to remove him as convener of Mutthida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM -P).

The former convener of MQM filed the petition through his counsel Babar Sattar Advocate and cited Secretary ECP, Kanwar Naveed Jameel and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as respondents.

In his petition, Dr Farooq adopted that he is the former convener and party leader of MQM–P and he was illegally removed from the position of convener on February 11 by some members of Central Coordination Committee of the party while the said illegal removal was confirmed by the ECP vide its order dated March 26.

He prayed to the court to declare the said orders unconstitutional and illegal for being ultra vires of the Constitution, the Election Act 2017 and void ab initio for being without jurisdiction, against principles of natural justice, in contravention of the fundamental rights of the petitioner and therefore of no legal effect.

Dr Farooq requested to declare that till such time, intraparty election certificate of MQM–Pakistan dated March 11 notified by Secretary ECP is replaced in accordance with section 209 of Election Act 2017 or the petitioner is removed from office of party head in accordance with law by a court of competent jurisdiction, the certificate dated March 11 recognizing the petitioner as the Convener of MQM – P shall remain in field and the petitioner shall continue to be recognized as party head.

He also requested the court to declare that secretary ECP is vested with no authority to organize, administer or oversee intraparty elections and is obliged by law to recognize and notify the intraparty election certification duly filed by the petitioner pursuant to section 209 of the Election Act 2017.

Dr Farooq submitted before the court to declare that secretary ECP is not vested with jurisdiction under the Constitution or the law to adjudicate internal disputes of MQM-P or other political parties under the garb of interpreting or seeking to enforce party constitutions or agreements between party members.