SC reserves judgment regarding interpretation of Article 62 (1)(f)

0

ISLAMABAD (APP): A seven-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Friday reserved its judgment in the case pertaining to the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and disqualification tenure.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Amin Ud Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali heard the case.

The bench reserved the verdict after all the respondents concluded their arguments.

During the course of proceedings, the CJP observed that the court would announce the short order soon.

Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan and Jahangir Tareen’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan gave arguments before the bench.

The apex court had taken notice of the lifetime disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) in the appeal of former MPA Mir Badshah Qaisrani against his disqualification.

The case of interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution was heard by a 7-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

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

The fate of many politicians, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) founder Jahangir Tareen, hinges on the verdict of the apex court which will determine whether they could participate in the upcoming polls or not.

In its hearing on Jan 2, Chief Justice Isa advised against assuming that a particular party was being favoured.

Today, Jehangir Tareen’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan presented his arguments.

At the outset of the hearing, the Chief Justice of Pakistan remarked that we have decided that we would not hear the individual case related to the elections, we would hear the case related to the constitutional interpretation, the individual cases related to the elections would be heard in another bench next week and we would form another bench for those cases.

Chief Justice Isa said that we issued a public notice in the disqualification case, but no political party became a party. He said that nobody cares about the people. “If the country is destroyed, no one cares. One mistake in nomination papers, renders a person disqualified for life.”

The top judge observed why are we limiting ourselves to only one specific part of the constitution and its language? Why are we ignoring constitutional history, fundamental rights? What remaining rights have been taken away by the insertion of certain new clauses? Only one general put the clause of 62(1)(f), then we all became bound?

Presenting his arguments, Makhdoom Ali Khan said that the main case before the Supreme Court is the Samiullah Baloch case of the same court. He said that the Supreme Court Bar Association also raised a question in the Samiullah Baloch case.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah inquired of the lawyer that according to you the declaration of disqualification would come from the civil court? To which the lawyer said that yes, the declaration would come from the civil court. A civil court decision does not take away any fundamental constitutional right for life. He said he did not find any such example from the common law. One becomes eligible when his outstanding utility bill is paid.

Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar inquired whether Articles 62 and 63 would be applied after or before the election.

The Chief Justice said that we should not limit ourselves to the provisions of the Constitution. The entire constitution has to be looked at. We are ignoring fundamental constitutional rights, constitutional history. Transparent trial, basic education is also a part of the constitution. We have started to discuss Ayub Khan’s intrusion. It should not be ignored what happened. I cannot ignore the history of Pakistan, the top judge said.

The Chief Justice remarked that destroying the country is punishable by five years. A minor mistake in nomination papers carries a life sentence. We are still stuck on the language of the constitutional provision.

Jahangir Tareen’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan said that in 1985, Article 62(1)(f) was made a part of the Constitution. Article 62 and 63 are now merged. Article 62 cannot be seen without Article 63.

Justice Jamal Mandokhel inquired whether the civil court could give a declaration of disqualification, to which the lawyer said that the civil court could not give such a declaration. What civil court is there which could tell someone that he is not honest and trustworthy because his dues are outstanding.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked whether the period of disqualification on declaration could be fixed by legislation, to which the lawyer said that there is a court of law in the constitution which includes both civil and criminal courts. Yesterday, Justice Musrat Hilali asked what was the reason for keeping Article 62 and 63 separately. Eligibility and ineligibility are kept separate.

The Chief Justice said that we can do whatever we want. Do you believe that the best parliamentarians in the world are from Pakistan? It’s not like I’m not disrespecting anyone. Is there such a qualification for members of assembly anywhere in the world? The lawyer said that there is no such qualification standard anywhere in the world.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that h is looking at the Constitution after the 18th Amendment. The words can be disputed but I do not have the power to ignore every word of the constitution. Every word of the constitution is important, the judge said.

The Chief Justice remarked that the Supreme Court interpreted through the judgment. The constitution has not written what the criteria of disqualification would be. This will be the period determined by the court decision. If a person commits murder, gives blood money (diyat) to the next of kin, he can submit nomination papers, the CJP observed.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.