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October 19, 2018

Imran’s disqualification

Top Story

October 19, 2018

SC dismisses review petition of Hanif Abbasi

By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed the review petition of PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi against its judgment declaring Prime Minister Imran Khan as honest.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umer Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab heard the review petition of Hanif Abbasi. "We do not find any content for review hence it is dismissed," the court announced after hearing the arguments of counsel for the petitioner.

On Dec 15, 2017, the SC had absolved Imran Khan of all allegations of corruption and declared him as honest but disqualified PTI leader Jehangir Tareen for misdeclaration under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. Hanif Abbasi filed a review petition with the Supreme Court, challenging its last year's judgment by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. Abbasi contended that PTI chief Imran Khan had categorically admitted that he did not declare his ownership of the London Flat, nor Niazi Services Limited (NSL) until he availed himself of the Amnesty Scheme in 2000; therefore, it logically follows that the said assets were not declared in the nomination forms filed by the Respondent No.1 in 1997. Imran Khan therefore, is not righteous in terms of Section 99(f)of Representation of People’s Act, 1976 and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and should be disqualified from the membership of the Parliament”, Abbasi had contended.

On Thursday, Muhammad Akram Sheikh, counsel for Hanif Abbasi submitted before the court that the Supreme Court of Pakistan did not make rules for exercise of the review jurisdiction under constitutional jurisdiction i.e. starting with Article 184(1), 184(2) and 184(3). Therefore, he said the scope and power of the review should be interpreted as a power equivalent to an intra-court appeal by either a larger bench or a different set of judges as if the review is heard in accordance with the provisions of the Order XXVI from Rule 1 to 6 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980, the judges have to be the same who rendered the judgment and this violates the basic principle that “no one can be a judge in his own cause”. Akram Sheikh contended where there is a judgment by three judges laying down a “strict liability principle” the other bench of the three judges cannot hold a different view because under Article 176 it is the one Supreme Court which must speak with one voice and not multiple voices and multiple opinions. He submitted that in this case applying the strict liability principles, non-disclosure of assets of Mrs Jemima Khan in his nomination papers including her bank accounts and other global properties, the respondent suffers from even graver acts of mis-declaration and concealments and is liable to be visited with penalties not less than those imposed in the case of Imran Khan Niazi vs. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Muhammad Akram Sheikh also raised the question of the authenticity of the documents submitted by PM Imran, saying the documents did not come through a proper chain of custody. The Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar however, observed that it is the discretion of the court to accept any documents in any case which is being litigated under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

When Akram Sheikh stressed the court to have an oversight on some aspects of its earlier judgment, Justice Umer Ata Bandial observed that he has not gone through the whole judgment.

“The oversight you are talking about is your misreading”, Justice Bandial told the counsel, adding he is giving statements just to satisfy himself and the audience. Later, the court dismissed the review petition.

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