ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday declared all petitions against re-election of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif as president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) through an amendment to Election Act, 2017.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, heard arguments regarding maintainability of several petitions against Nawaz filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed, MNA Jamshaid Dasti, National Party, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and others.
The petitions say that former prime minister has been elected as his party’s president in violation of Clause 5 of the Political Parties Order 2002 and Article 17 of the Constitution.
During the hearing, the chief justice observed that Parliament is the supreme body for lawmaking, adding that the court will strictly follow the laws.
The court also invited arguments from the counsels for petitioners regarding maintainability of petitions before serving notices on respondents. The chief justice also observed that he petitions seemed political in nature.
The chief justice also asked the counsels to cite judgments through which the court had declared legislation null and void.
Farogh Naseem, counsel for Sheikh Rasheed argued that it was the right of citizens to be government by an honest person, adding that a party head should be sadiq and amen as per Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution
He further said that the party head can control the parliament as per Article 63 as he issued party tickets for elections.
As Naseem, PPP’s counsel Latif Khosa and others completed their arguments, the court accepted the petition for hearing and issued notices to the respondents.
The PML-N, who is in majority in National Assembly, manged to amend the Constitution allowing deposed prime minister to be elected as president of party despite his disqualification by the Supreme Court in Panamagate case.
The court has issued notices to all respondents, including Nawaz Sharif, in the case.