ISLAMABAD - Several important cases are pending in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against different political parties and individuals including one case against Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif seeking his disqualification from the assembly seat and three cases filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement relating to missing persons and dual nationality issues.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has filed a petition against the incumbent chairman NAB, while Khawaja Asif’s petitions are related to the LPG quota and Nandipur and Chichokimalian Rental Power Projects.

There are also some other cases pending against the Punjab government including lady health workers, computerisation of land in the province and education department employees' salaries. But these cases are not specifically against the Punjab government, as the notices in these cases have been issued to other provinces as well.

The case related to Shahbaz Sharif's double seats has been challenged by Shahid Orakzai. According to his application, Shahbaz was elected from PP-48 Bhakkar on June 3, 2008, and later from PP-10 Rawalpindi on June 27. He stated that as per Article 223 clause 4 of the Constitution whenever a person is elected for a second seat, his first seat is considered vacant. But, Shahbaz retained the seat of Bhakkar and resigned from the seat of Rawalpindi. As PP-48 Bhakkar was already vacant so Shahbaz Sharif lost his assembly membership when he resigned from the seat of PP-10 Rawalpindi.

On the request of the petitioner (Mr Orakzai) a three-member bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk referred the matter to the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for constituting a larger bench to hear this important plea.

The issue of Punjab government running on stay order has already been decided. In March 2012, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during the proceedings of Haj scam had passed an order that "In future if anyone intends to make any statement regarding stay order in favour of Punjab government, he may have information beforehand from the Registrar instead of maintaining a version, which is not supported by the Court record."

The former advocate general Khawaja Haris on that day had visited the Registrar office along with 11 journalists including Terence J Sigamony, Hasnat Mehmood, Wajid Hameed, Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui, Faisal Shakeel, Ghulam Nabi, Ijaz Ahmed, Abdul Shakoor, Waheed Murad, Fakher Rehman and Rashid Habib to examine the record in this regard. After thorough scrutiny, no case regarding interim stay order in favour of Punjab government was found pending.

Cases of MQM in the Supreme Court are related to missing persons, who were allegedly picked up by the law enforcement agencies in 1996 during the Karachi operation, equal airtime sharing by PTV and the dual nationality.

MQM’s petition relating to equal airtime sharing by the PTV is yet to be decided by the apex court while party’s constitutional petition regarding dual nationality is also waiting for a decision. MQM’s Parliamentary Leader in the National Assembly Farooq Sattar had filed the petition through Aitzaz Ahsan.

The MQM has also sought the interpretation of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution from the apex court. The articles deal with the qualification and disqualification of a member of the national and provincial assemblies and the senate.

He maintains that, after 20th Amendment, the Election Commission of Pakistan has yet to take a decision on taking a fresh oath from the parliamentarians. It is interesting to note that Election Commission itself has held that in case a member of national assembly, provincial assemblies or senate fails to file an affidavit before the ECP by 30th November, he or she will be disqualified, he says.