SC forms larger bench

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SC forms larger bench

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has constituted a larger bench to take up the case related to lifetime disqualifications awarded to parliamentarians under Article 62(1)f of the Constitution. 

According to details, the seven-member larger bench will be headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa. The bench is set to take up the case on Jan 2 next year.

The case holds immense significance especially in the backdrop of the lifetime disqualifications of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif and political heavyweight Jahangir Khan Tareen, the chief of the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party. 

As former prime minister Nawaz Sharif sees another prime ministerial bid, the only remaining legal obstacle preventing him from participating in the upcoming election on Feb 8 next year is his lifetime disqualification as a parliamentarian by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.

IPP chief Jahangir Khan Tareen, who is currently spearheading his party’s election campaign in a whirlwind tour of the country, had been disqualified for life for concealing a company he had created outside Pakistan to save his money. 

In May 2018, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court, led by the then CJP Mian Saqib Nisar, while handing down a verdict, ruled that disqualification of public representatives, Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Khan Tareen – under Article 62(1)(f) was for life.

According to Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, a person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) “unless — he is sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law”. 

The apex court’s ruling had addressed an ambiguity at the time over Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification and whether he was barred from office for life or a specific period of time.

The court had ruled that the disqualification of a parliamentarian under the provision was permanent and would remain in force until another verdict comes in his/her favour or the disqualification verdict was struck down.