ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday sought attorney general’s assistance asking him which is the competent forum and what is authorised procedure for disqualification of parliamentarians who are not ‘Sadiq’ (honest) and ‘Ameen’ (righteous).

The court put four questions to the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP): First, which is the competent forum to hear a petition for the disqualification of a parliamentarian? Second, if it is decided that judiciary should take up the matter, which court is authorised to hear the case? Third, what would be the procedure for disqualification? Fourth, what will be the evidence for the authorised procedure of disqualification?

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, during hearing on petitions seeking disqualification of prime minister, said: “We are neither concerned about the differences between the opposition and treasury benches nor know what would be the result of the case... We would determine the question of ‘Sadiq’ (honest) and ‘Ameen’ (righteous) and have no concern if prime minister and interior minister or (even) half of the parliamentarians are disqualified due to the (resulting) judgment.”

A three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja resumed hearing of petitions filed by PTI and PML-Q leaders and PTI Lawyers Forum. Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) leader Ishaq Khakwani and PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain and PTI Lawyers Forum Vice-President Gohar Nawaz Sindhu have sought disqualification of the prime minister on the ground that he had lied with the nation that he did not ask army chief to negotiate between the government and the protesting PTI and PAT over prevailing political deadlock.

Sindhu’s stance is that the LHC Single and Divisional Benches had rejected his petition saying that ‘political question’ is involved in it. Justice Jawwad remarked it was not ‘political’ but ‘Justiciable question’.

The bench observed that Sadiq and Ameen condition is must for parliamentarians. Therefore, the court has to interpret them because if they don’t do that then the returning officers would keep on passing contradictory orders in future as well.

Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany inquired from the petitioner whether any court had convicted the prime minister for not being Sadiq and Ameen, adding if no court had convicted the PM then how the august court could disqualify him. The honourable judge asked where it was written in the constitution that if a parliamentarian was a liar he should be removed from the assembly. He further remarked that the national assembly speaker had given a ruling that PM Nawaz Shairf could not be disqualified on these allegations.

The bench observed that the Lahore High Court had dismissed Sindhu’s application for PM disqualification, but had not given detailed reasons. “We have to follow the constitution which is the will of the people of Pakistan,” Justice Jawwad said. He added after the 18th Amendment, under Article 63(1)(g), it is necessary for disqualification of a member that he is convicted by competent court.

AGP Salman Butt on the court order read out NA speaker’s ruling. The speaker in the ruling had asked the petitioners to approach court of law for conviction. Justice Jawwad said when a court terms the issue political and does not hear it while the speaker says that the parliamentarians should be convicted by the court of law then the Supreme Court being the august court has to deliver a judgment on the issue so it becomes precedence for other courts. The judge said in the next hearing they would try to pass an order in accordance with the constitution.

Irfan Qadir, counsel Ch Shujaat Hussain and Ishaq Khaqwani, contended that so far no meaningful hearing in the instant case had been held. He also said that his appeal filed for recusal of one of the members of the bench was not yet taken up for hearing.

The court however observed that all the hearings in the instant case were meaningful and the case will be decided in accordance with law and constitution. The court adjourned hearing until next Monday saying it may be taken up at Quetta Registry Branch.