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    Friday, 13 April 2018

    Article 62: Disqualification is for life, SC rules in historic verdict

    Supreme Court (SC) today gave its verdict in the case regarding period of disqualification of members of the parliament under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution that makes the lawmakers unable to contest elections for the rest of their life.


    Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal read out the verdict, which seals the political fate of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen and other lawmakers disqualified under the said article. 
    The court has ruled that the disqualification will hold until the court declaration disqualifying the lawmaker stands. 
    Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal read out the verdict, while, the decision was made unanimously by five-member bench under Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar.
    Nawaz Sharif can neither contest elections in future nor head his party.
    However, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) rejected Supreme Court’s decision.
    A five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, on February 14 reserved the judgment on review petitions of the former legislators seeking interpretation regarding timeframe of disqualification under the said article of the Constitution. The other members of the bench who heard the case were Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.
    The larger bench announced the judgment today at 11:15am. However, only four judges of the larger bench sat as Justice Sajjad Ali Shah is currently at the Quetta Registry.
    Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were the members of the larger bench which disqualified former premier Nawaz Sharif under the same article.
    A detailed judgment will be released later. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed has also written an additional note in the judgment. 
    Likewise, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Justice Umar Ata Bandial were the members of the three-judge bench which disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ex-secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen as a member of the National Assembly.
    Barrister Ali Zafar and Munir A Malik had argued in the case as amicus curiae.
    Excluding Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, all the four judges had given either observations or judgments in the disqualification cases of Sharif and Tareen.
    The court in this case had issued notices to all the persons, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI ex-secretary general Jahangir Tareen, affected by disqualification under Article 62(1)(f).
    Tareen and a number of other lawmakers had filed the applications against their disqualification. However, Sharif refused to become a party in the case, saying his representation could negatively affect the case of others.
    “Had I been a party to the original proceedings, I would have requested Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh and Justice Ijazul Ahsan to kindly recuse themselves from the bench as they have already given a judgment disqualifying me as a member of the parliament,” Sharif had stated in response to the notice. The court then decided to conduct ex-parte proceedings. However, it again ruled that the aggrieved persons could file their opinions when they deemed it necessary before reserving the judgment.
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    Item Reviewed: Article 62: Disqualification is for life, SC rules in historic verdict Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Asqamar