The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

SC intends to wrap up lifetime disqualification case at next hearing to prevent ‘confusion’ for ROs

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Tuesday said the Supreme Court intends to wrap up proceedings on the issue of lifetime disqualification “very quickly” to prevent “confusion” for returning officers. He passed these remarks as a seven-member larger bench took up the case. Headed by the CJP, the bench comprised Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali. The proceedings were being broadcast live on the Supreme Court’s website. As the February 8 general elec tions approach, the apex court seeks to determine once and for all the raging debate on whether aspirants disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution could contest polls in light of the amendments in the Elections Act 2017. The law, which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be “sadiq and ameen” (honest and righteous), is the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in the Panama Papers case. Ex-premier Imran Khan was also disqualified under the same article in the Toshakhana case last year. The legal dilemma arose in view of a 2018 Supreme Court judgment in the Samiullah Baloch case, when it shut the doors of parliament permanently for politicians disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution through a unanimous verdict, ruling that such ineligibility was for life. The verdict was issued by former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, ex-CJP Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. But on June 26, 2023, an amendment was brought in the Elections Act 2017, specifying that the period of the electoral disqualification will be for five years, not for life. dawn

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.