ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) is likely to challenge the ‘Election Bill 2017’, recently passed by the Senate, paving the way for an otherwise ineligible Nawaz Sharif to head his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League.
Rashid A Rizvi, President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) told the reporters in the Supreme Court on Monday that the association is scheduled to meet on October 7 in Peshawar where, besides other issues, the Election Bill 2017 will also be discussed and it is likely to be challenged a0fter the President of Pakistan consents to it.
He said that the bill is an annulment of the Constitution, adding that Constitution cannot be nullified by a subordinate legislation.
Replying to a question, the SCBA president said allowing participation of fanatics in the guise of religious parties in the election was alarming. He said in recent by-election in NA-120 Lahore, some fanatics contested the election portraying themselves as political parties.
"We have to draw distinction between the religious political parties and the parties of fanatics”, Rizvi said. He, while referring a judgment delivered by a five-member Supreme Court bench in 1994 in the case of Shafi-ur-Rehman, said no one can be disqualified forever.
He said the disqualification under Article 62 is for five years. He said where the punishment or disqualification is not prescribed, the court cannot introduce it by its own.
"The bill will provide a chance to Nawaz Sharif to reign over Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz even after Supreme Court had declared him disqualified from holding public office in Panama Papers case”, the SCBA president said adding that this bill which is beneficial to an individual, will give birth to new litigation, adding this legislation is even against the basic structure of the Constitution.
Rashid A Rizvi however, said that the principle of equity doesn't allow legislators to amend a law just to benefit an individual and it is harmful for the system, adding that a subordinate legislation cannot curtail a provision of the Constitution.