ISLAMABAD - President Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rashid on Saturday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the registrar’s objections raised over his petition in which he has challenged the Election Act 2017.

He contended that the petition is of public importance as now under the new law a disqualified person is allowed to become head of a political party, which is violative of fundamental rights. Now Nawaz Sharif being the President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would control the party, he added. He prayed that his appeal against the registrar office’s objections be fixed soon.

The AML President on October 4 filed a petition against the Election law 2017 under Article 184(3) of Constitution. He prayed the court to declare Nawaz Sharif having been disqualified by the Supreme Court cannot be elected as party head or office-bearer of PML-N.

He said that section 203 of Election Act, 2017 per se does not expressly permit any person who has been disqualified by a court of law to remain or become an office-bearer of the political party. But if it is interpreted that section 203 of the Act does not debar a disqualified person from becoming an office-bearer of political party then section 203 is liable to be struck down as unconstitutional.

The disqualification recorded by the apex court under Article 62 & 63 of Constitution cannot be overtaken by sub-constitutional law. “If a person cannot become a parliamentarian due to operation of constitutional law then he surely cannot become head of the political party.”

A person who has been declared not to be ‘Sadiq’ or ‘Amin’ if made the head of a political party, would mean that person who is not ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ will be the head of a political party, which may have many members in the Senate and assemblies.

He stated that section 232 of the Election Act, 2017 provides for the disqualification shall not exceed more than five years. “The sub-constitutional law of Election Act 2017 cannot overtake the mandate of the constitution.”

Sheikh Rashid stated that there are series of judgments of the Supreme Court regarding disqualification Article 62(1)(f). He stated that in Ghafoor Lehri’s case, the apex court held that the disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) is for life. These judgments are binding on all under Article 189 of Constitution, adding this position could be reversed by amending Article 62(1)(f) of Constitution.

He said that the election of Nawaz Sharif as President of PML-N is complete travesty of justice and fair play and is against all canons of law, equity, constitutional and elections laws. The defection clause in Article 63A is very relevant in the present context. The party head submits a declaration to the relevant functionaries in the event a member of political party defects in terms of Article 63A.

He stated that the proposed amendments and actions are also mala fide and unconstitutional as they are being introduced only to accommodate one person i.e. Nawaz Sharif.