ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday once again put ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on notice on a petition challenging his election as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) after his life-time disqualification in the Panama Papers case.
A single bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq was hearing the petition filed by advocate Makhdoom Niaz Inqalabi who requested it to strike down the controversial clause of the Election Act 2017 that allowed Sharif to head his party.
The court directed the former premier to file his reply to the petition before next hearing and adjourned the case until December 20.
On November 22, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar 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 Sharif to become the PML-N president.
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.
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 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.