ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court has unanimously announced that the disqualification under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution was for a lifetime, sealing the political career of former Premier Nawaz Sharif and PTI’s former Secretary General Jahangir Tareen for life.
The much-awaited verdict was written and announced by Justice Umer Atta Bandial in courtroom no. 1 while Justice Azmat Saeed also wrote an additional note in the judgment.
The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah voted 5-0 in favour of lifetime disqualification, though the proposal before the apex court was to reduce the embargo for 8 years.C_A__233_2015
“I have had the privilege to go through the judgment of my learned brother Umer Ata Bandial, J., though I concur with the conclusions drawn in the said judgment, I do not find myself in agreement with the reasoning employed in its entirety,” stated Justice Azmat Saeed in his additional note.
The top court had reserved the verdict after successive hearings on February 14th after clubbing as many as 17 petitions.
With Friday’s verdict, both Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tareen have been declared to be ineligible for becoming lawmakers in future.
Jahangir Tareen Responds
Expressing his views over the ‘damaging’ verdict, Jahangir Tareen expressed that he supported disqualification under article 62 (1)(f) of the constitution.
“I have no objection to the disqualification but my case was not of tax evasion or money laundering,” contended the legislator.
He added that he used banking channels to transfer money abroad, contrary to Nawaz Sharif ‘who laundered money’.
I always believed 62 1(f) to be for life but not applicable in my case.Full money trail provided of tax paid Income, property declared in assets of children and not mine on advice of tax consultant. This was the only issue. My review is still pending and IA justice will prevail
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) April 13, 2018
Tareen alleged that Nawaz Sharif was playing games after being caught in corruption charges as he was criticizing his own government in his own tenure.
The PTI bigwig was also hopeful about the review petition he had filed in the apex court against the Dec 15 verdict which pertains to his disqualification.
Maryam Aurangzeb Reacts
On the other hand, Federal Minister for Information Maryam Aurangzeb expressed that the elected PM was ousted over an incomplete trial.
“This decision is similar to Supreme Court rulings which took former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to the gallows and led to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto,” the information minister declared as she spoke to media in Islamabad.
The legislator claimed that corruption of not a single penny worth was proven against the former premier adding that Panama JIT head Wajid Zia had also said there was no documental evidence to show that Nawaz took money from his son’s company, Capital FZE.
The minister decried that nameless, faceless people decided the fate of premiers as prime minister, then removed him as head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), barred his party from participating in Senate elections and now they ruled against him from holding a public office for life.
It bears mentioning that Article 62(1)(f) of the constitution sets the benchmark for a member of parliament to be “Sadiq and Ameen” (honest and righteous) and it is the same provision under which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as prime minister by a five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on July 28, 2017, in the Panama Papers case.
In the same fashion, 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.