ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday gave ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif a last chance to respond to a petition challenging his re-election as the PML-N president after his lifetime disqualification in the Panama Papers case.
A single bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq warned the former premier to submit his comments on the petition or else it would give ex-parte decision in the case.
It also issued notices to the secretary establishment division, chief election commissioner and secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to furnish their replies on the petition filed by Makhdoom Niaz Inqalabi.
The petitioner submitted that the Election Act 2017 passed by the National Assembly and the Senate allows a person ineligible to hold public office to head a political party in violation of the Constitution.
He requested the court to restrain Nawaz Sharif from engaging in political activities as the president of the PML-N till his petition is decided.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed, Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and others have approached the apex court, pleading the court to strike down the controversial clause which paved the way for the former premier to become head of his PML-N.
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.