Won’t accept a crook heading a political party: CJP

Justic­e Saqib Nisar says if a person is convic­ted in contem­pt case then he will be consid­ered as disloy­al to state

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

The country’s top judge has said that he will not accept a crook heading a political party and ruling the country and prayed to the Almighty to not let that happen.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, resumed on Thursday the hearing of a case challenging Elections Act, 2017 – a part of which paved way for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to head the ruling party despite his disqualification as a member of parliament.

“God forbid if a thief becomes a party head… a disqualified person would make parliamentarians do things which he can’t do himself,” Justice Nisar remarked during the proceeding, Express News reported.

Presenting his arguments on the matter, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) counsel Salman Akram Raja said the newly-legislated electoral reforms act was not in contradiction to the Constitution and parliament can amend the Article 17 of the Constitution if deem necessary.

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Whereas, Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution determine qualification and disqualification of the parliamentarians, said Raja, adding that Article 63(a) was about the head and members of political parties.

CJP Nisar said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi considered deposed PM Nawaz Sharif as his premier. “We are observing what value party head possesses,” he added.

Advocate Raja said the entire parliament must have taken notice of that. On which, the CJP said: “We are also taking notice … parliament has the prerogative of legislating the laws, however, these laws must not be invalid.”

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Nelson Mandela faced a political case and not a criminal trial, said the chief justice when reminded by Raja about the former. “How can a convict of contempt of court become a party head? If a person is convicted in contempt case then he will be considered as disloyal to state,” he remarked.

Raja, however, responded that Article 63(1) could not be included in Article 17.

On that, Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that attacking the court was tantamount to subvert the Constitution. He also said that if the party head was polluted then whole scheme became polluted.

Justice Ahsan observed that the Supreme Court is custodian of the Constitution and citizens’ rights. He also asked the PML-N counsel to refer a country whose constitution allowed convicted person to become the party head.


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