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Friday June 21, 2024

Lifetime disqualification case: Top court’s verdict expected today

The verdict was reserved by the top court after arguments were completed on January 5

By Maryam Nawaz
January 08, 2024
A picture shows the front side of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Supreme Court website
A picture shows the front side of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Supreme Court website

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is expected to announce the judgment today (Monday) in a case relating to the interpretation of Article 62 (1)(f) that deals with the lifetime disqualification of lawmakers.

The verdict was reserved by the top court after arguments were completed in the case on January 5.

While reserving the verdict, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa had said that a short order would be announced soon.

A seven-member larger bench — headed by CJP Isa and comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, and Justice Musarrat Hilali — had conducted the hearing.

The apex court had taken notice of contradictions regarding the duration of disqualification in the Election Act, 2017, and an apex court verdict during a past hearing on a petition filed by former PML-N lawmaker Sardar Meer Badshah Khan Qaisrani last month.

Qaisrani had challenged his lifetime disqualification over a fake degree in 2007.

Proceedings were broadcast live on SC's website and YouTube channel.

In the previous hearing on January 4, CJP Isa had remarked that disqualifying anyone for life from parliament was "against Islam", adding that the court was seeking “clarity” on whether the disqualification period for a lawmaker was five years — as per the amendment in Election Act 2017 — or a lifetime ban under the aforementioned article which deals with the criteria to contest elections.

CJP Isa had said that the solution to the matter was present in Islam.

"The Holy Quran mentions that the status of humans is very high," the top judge had said, referring to a verse from Surah Sajdah which explains that human beings are not bad but their deeds are.

"Disqualifying anyone [for life] is against Islam," he had added.