Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a detailed verdict on Friday, regarding the petitions challenging Election Act 2017.

In its 51 page judgment penned by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the top court remarked that the law (Election Act 2017) was enacted to favour certain lawmakers who had been disqualified for violating articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, referring to former Premier Nawaz Sharif.

“To hold that a person who is disqualified to be king can nevertheless be given a free hand to operate as a kingmaker, who may despite lacking qualification and without going through the electoral process, act as a puppet master pull the strings and exercise political power vicariously would amount to making a complete mockery of the Constitution, the legislative process, the law, the government and values that we hold so dear and have consciously worked for, defended and incorporated in the Constitution,” the judgment stated.

“A person who does not himself qualify to be a member of the
Parliament, cannot in exercise of power under 63A be allowed
to declare parliamentary members as disqualified to exercise the authority (of Almighty Allah) as His delegatees as a ‘sacred
trust,” continued the judgment.

The detailed order emphasizes on the role of party leader as the linchpin around which the whole party structure revolves and seeks to uphold the same yardstick as mentioned for a legislator.

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The judgment continued that the court had ruled earlier that the Constitution could not be bypassed by enacting another legislation.

It bears mentioning that the apex court had disqualified Pakistan Muslim League’s President Nawaz Sharif from steering the party on February 21 on a slew of petitions filed by Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other political parties as well as groups of lawyers.

Election Act 2017 case: Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif as PML-N president

While announcing the verdict in courtroom number 1, the chief justice said that “a person who is disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution is not eligible to sign on any document that is needed to nominate someone to the National Assembly or Senate”.