Sunday, 21 October 2018

Pakistan SC disqualifies ex-PM Nawaz Sharif from politics for life

nawaz-sharif

Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former MNA Jehangir Tareen of the PTI cannot ever stand for elections for the rest of their life, ruled the Supreme Court in a stunning landmark judgement on Friday morning.

They were disqualified under Article 62 of the Constitution which says that in order for a Pakistani to become a parliamentarian, they need to be “sadiq” and “ameen” or honest and righteous.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial read out the unanimous verdict issued by a five-member bench of Supreme Court regarding the period of disqualification under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution on Friday.

The judgment in civil appeal No. 233/2015 etc. was announced in courtroom 1.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah had reserved the verdict on February 14 this year to announce it later.

On Friday, a four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar announced the verdict on the several identical petitions to stipulate the time frame for which a lawmaker would stand disqualified if they violated Article 62 (1)(f) or were found not to be righteous and honest. Justice Faisal Arab was not present when the verdict was read out.

The Supreme Court judges remarked that public representatives should be truthful.

Appearing before the court at the last hearing on February 14, Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf Ali had said that the constitution needs to be amended to specify the duration of disqualification. He wondered if the disqualification of lawmakers would continue even after death, as no time limit has been set in the law.

The court said that the 18th Amendment passed in 2010 did not spell out any time period for disqualification. The duration for disqualification will continue for as long as the declaration holds.

Nawaz, 67, resigned in July after the court disqualified him over an undeclared source of income. Friday’s ruling has addressed an ambiguity – whether he was barred from office for life or a specific period.

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