Asking Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) to provide assistance to the court, the Supreme Court on Wednesday raised four questions of law to deal with pleas seeking Prime Minister’s disqualification. A three-member bench led by acting Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani resumed the hearing of identical pleas seeking disqualification of incumbent Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
The PML-Q president, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Ishaq Khan Khaqwani of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Gohar Nawaz Sindhu, senior vice-president of PTI Lawyers Forum Punjab filed petitions, seeking disqualification of Nawaz Sharif for allegedly making a false statement on the floor of the House – regarding the role of army chief pertaining to the sit-ins of the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in the Red Zone of Islamabad.
Seeking assistance, the bench raised questions of law about the forum where the matter could be adjudicated for disqualification of a parliamentarian, a procedure for disqualification by an authorised court, nature of evidence to be furnished before the authorised court and identification and authorisation of a court which could hear the matter. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed that there have been some material changes through the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment. The court, therefore, intends to know their importance, he added.
He further remarked that the apex court has nothing to do with disqualification of Prime Minister and Interior Minister or de-seating of 50 MNAs as a result of a court verdict in the current case, saying the court has to adhere to the Constitution of Pakistan. He observed that the matter will have far-reaching consequences.
Addressing one of the petitioners, Sindhu, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani said that Article 63 (1) does not say that if a person is a liar, he cannot be chosen as a member of the Parliament. Justice Osmani further observed that Speaker National Assembly has already given a ruling over disqualification of the Prime Minister, saying no remedy would be available once the Speaker National Assembly has given ruling in the matter.
However, Sindhu contended that the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to convict the respondent on grounds of information, published in media; to which Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that a parliamentarian cannot be disqualified merely on the basis of press reports.
Irfan Qadir, the counsel for the petitioners PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Ishaq Khaqwani, contended that so far no meaningful hearing in the instant case has been held, saying his appeal filed for recusal of one of the members of the bench is yet to be taken up. Adjourning the hearing of case till November 10, the bench said that the matter may be taken up in Quetta Registry branch.
APP adds: Justice Osmani remarked that it was written in the constitution that a parliamentarian WHO IS convicted by the court stands disqualified. He asked about the case in which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was convicted. He further remarked that the Speaker National Assembly had given his ruling which stated that Prime Minister Nawaz Shairf could not be disqualified on the basis of these allegations.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT/APP