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Published On: Fri, Apr 13th, 2018

Nawaz Sharif Stands Disqualified from Public Office for Life : Pakistan’s Top Court

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Nawaz-1-1ISLAMABAD : Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified from holding public office for life and is ineligible to contest elections. According to the Pakistani Supreme Court,  Pakistan’s Apex Court dashed Nawaz Sharif’s hopes of returning to power on Friday, ruling that the disqualification handed to him last year in the Panama Papers Case was for life.
Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was ousted by the judiciary in July 2017 over corruption charges which he is currently facing in Pakistani courts.
A report in Dawn.com, said the disqualification under Article 62 (1)(f) of Pakistan’s constitution is for life. Article 62(1)(f), which sets the precondition for a member of Pakistan’s parliament to be ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ (honest and righteous), was the one under which Sharif was disqualified as PM last year.
Friday’s ruling addressed an ambiguity over Sharif’s disqualification and whether he was barred from office for life or a specific period. Sharif has denied any wrongdoing and has blamed “hidden hands” for his dismissal.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen was among the other lawmakers also disqualified under the article.

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Reading out the historic verdict the five-member Pakistani Supreme Court bench observed that such the disqualification restriction is fair in a democratic set up, reported Pakistani news website tribune.com.pk.Both Sharif and former Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secretary general Jahangir Tareen have been barred from holding public office for life.
The ruling by the bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah will have a massive impact on Pakistan’s political system.
Article 62(1)(f), which sets the precondition for a Member of Parliament to be “sadiq and ameen” (honest and righteous), is the same provision under which Sharif was disqualified by a five-judge SC bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on July 28, 2017, in the Panama Papers case. Likewise, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was disqualified on December 15, 2017 by a separate bench of the apex court under the same provision,” reported Dawn.com.
The bench had on February 14, 2018 reserved the judgement on 17 appeals and petitions challenging the length of disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) for possessing fake degrees.

Pakistan Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf had argued during the last hearing that courts cannot decide if disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Pakistani Constitution was for life or give any timeline. According to Ausaf, Parliament was the competent authority to decide on the issue.

 

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