ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its decision in the case to determine the time period that elected lawmakers will remain disqualified for.
A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, reserved the verdict in all 17 appeals against the disqualification of lawmakers.
Article 62(1)(f), which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be “sadiq and ameen” (honest and righteous), is the same provision under which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by a five-judge SC bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on July 28, 2017 in the Panama Papers case. Likewise, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was disqualified on Dec 15 last year by a separate bench of the apex court under the same provision.
The verdict was reserved after Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf completed his arguments. Attorney General (AG) said no duration of disqualification is given in the Constitution. He stated that it is parliament which can determine the time duration.
“A declaration under Article 62(1)(f) does not carry a time limit, nor does it prescribe the mechanism for revisiting such a declaration. Therefore, till such time the parliament makes such provisions, the declaration shall continue,” the AG added.
The Attorney General contended that it is the sole responsibility of parliament to determine the time duration of disqualification under the aforementioned article.
At which, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed remarked the time period of disqualification was not defined in the constitution. “Would it be a life-time disqualification or for one election term,” Justice Saeed inquired.
To which, AG Ashtar Ausaf Ali said it is not definable in the constitution with regard to disqualification time period under the specified article of constitution. INP