Constitution doesn’t permit lifetime disqualification: CJP Isa

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan reconvened on Friday to continue its proceedings on the case involving the lifetime disqualification of politicians under Article 62(1)(f).
Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa led a seven-member bench comprising Justices Mansoor Ali Shah, Yahya Afridi, Aminuddin Khan, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, and Musarrat Hilali.

During the proceedings, Chief Justice Isa observed that the constitution did not permit lifetime disqualification, calling it a self-created theory.

The CJP also remarked that the mistakes on the nomination papers should not lead to a candidate’s lifelong ineligibility.
The parliament,  he said, should avoid enacting legislation that confuses the common man, expressing disappointment over the lack of consideration for the people. He made it clear that the case’s focus is on national issues, not individual or political matters. Individual concerns will be addressed by a separate bench next week.
The CJP further remarked that the lifetime disqualification contradicted the Islamic principles.

The court aims to conclude the case before general elections, eliminating confusion for returning officers regarding the Election Act. The Supreme Court Bar Association, represented by lawyer Ali Imran, withdrew its case, supporting the Election Act and advocating for a five-year disqualification. The hearing was adjourned for Friday prayers.
During the hearing, Advocate Khurram Raza gave arguments in the favour of lifetime disqualification, questioning the maintainability of the proceedings.
The CJP observed that the court would not discuss the powers of the election tribunal, emphasizing the constitutional court’s authority. The proceedings centered on the court’s power to disqualify for life and the ambiguity of Article 62(1)(f).

The apex court ordered a larger bench to review the matter after the winter vacation, aiming for a decision by January 11. The CJP turned down the concept of judicial supremacy, emphasizing reliance on legislation by elected representatives over dictators’ laws.
The apex court sought clarity before elections and addressed concerns about the terms “Sadiq” and “Ameen.” The case involves the lifetime disqualification of PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif, challenging the Supreme Court’s judgment and the Election Act amendment.