LHC dismisses Shahbaz Sharif disqualification reference
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday dismissed a reference filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf seeking disqualification of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Justice Shahid Kareem questioned the maintainability of the reference and asked PTI lawyer Babar Awan to explain as to why the party opted to approach this court instead of approaching the appropriate forum, Speaker of the provincial assembly.
To which, Babar contended that the party had approached the speaker seeking the CM’s disqualification but all in vain as he shied away from taking action against the CM of the party he belonged to. Under Article 62 of the Constitution, the high court was appropriate forum to seek such relief, he added.
After hearing his initial arguments, the court reserved the verdict.
Babar Awan, who recently joined the PTI, filed the reference on behalf of Imran Khan requesting the court to disqualify the Punjab CM in the wake of JIT findings about the ruling family.
“There is declaration in Panama case against Godfather 2,” he had said earlier referring to a decree by high court of Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in London on 16 March 1999 which stated that Shahbaz Sharif, along with his late father and brother Abbas Sharif, submitted $34 million.
The English High Court decreed the defendants including Shahbaz Sharif have a beneficial interest in the Mayfair apartments. The matter was settled for $8million.
He said this is sufficient evidence against the disqualification of Shahbaz Sharif. Babar Awan said the Panama case is mega-corruption scandal which is by the people of the Pakistan against Nawaz Sharif.
He said that PTI opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed filed a reference against the chief minister, which was not accepted by the Speaker who said a case was already filed in the court.
JIT report stated that Shahbaz Sharif refused to answer any questions over the Al-Towfeek case, or his arraignment in the Hudaibiya case by claiming that the case was quashed by a Pakistani court, which is false and contrary to the records available.
JIT report also states that Shahbaz Sharif also refused to answer questions about the Mayfair apartments and said that the JIT cannot probe the matter despite being mandated by the Supreme Court. JIT report said that Shahbaz Sharif has full knowledge of the matter and the English High Court ruling established a nexus between Al-Towfeek and Hudaibiya Paper Mills.