ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP)Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday set aside objections of the Supreme Court’s registrar office on a number of petitions challenging a clause of the Election Act 2017, which paved the way for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to head a party.
The registrar office had rejected the constitutional petitions, observing that the petitioners didn’t approach an appropriate forum to have their grievance redressed and didn’t also provide justification for doing so.
Subsequently, the petitioners filed appeals challenging the objections.
After hearing arguments of the petitioners’ lawyers in his chamber, the chief justice allowed the appeals and directed the court office to fix them before a bench for hearing.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed, Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and others have approached the apex court, pleading it to strike down the controversial clause which paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to become head of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) even after his lifetime disqualification in the Panama Papers scandal.
The petitioners stated that the Election Act 2017, a clause of which allows a disqualified lawmaker to hold the office of a political party, is against constitutional provisions. Under the law, a disqualified person has been given powers to get the law of his choice enacted by the legislators associated with his/her party, they added.
A day earlier, the PML-N government blocked the opposition’s move in the National Assembly to undo the clause in question to prevent a disqualified person from heading a political party.
PPP parliamentary leader Naveed Qamar presented the Election (Amendment) Act 2017, which was rejected by the house with 163-98 votes.