ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday suspended application of Election Act, 2017, to the extent of the finality of prophethood only.
Mr Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court issued the suspension orders while hearing a petition of Maulana Allah Wasaya through his counsel Hafiz Arafat Ahmad advocate.
The IHC single bench also ordered submission of the report of the committee, headed by Senator Zafarul Haq, to the court in a sealed envelope.
In his four-page written judgment, Justice Siddiqui noted: “Contentions presented by the counsel need consideration. Since vires are under challenge, let notice be issued to the attorney general of Pakistan.”
He further said notices may also be issued to the respondents, calling upon them to file the report and parawise comments with a copy to the counsel for the petitioner.
In his petition, Maulana Allah Wasaya made federation of Pakistan through the ministry of law and justice secretary, the ministry of interior secretary and the establishment division secretary respondents.
The petitioner prayed to the court to direct the law and justice secretary to immediately take all necessary measures for the revival of all provisions (which were in existence prior to the promulgation of Elections Act, 2017, relating to Qadiani group/Lahori group in their entirety with further direction to the respondents to ensure that all such provisions have been made part of the primary legislation.
He requested the court to direct the establishment division secretary to maintain a separate database of individuals belonging to Qadiani group/Lahori group joining civil service so that in future they may not be posted in the offices dealing with sensitive matters.
He also requested the court to direct the interior secretary to immediately conduct a thorough investigation through credible and honest officers of law-enforcement agencies to ascertain the elements and forces behind the unconstitutional and illegal acts detailed in the petition.
He also prayed to the court to direct the establishment division secretary to bring on record a detailed report showing individuals/officers belonging to Qadiani group/Lahori group currently working in the federal government along with their respective portfolios.
The petitioner stated in his petition that in a deceitful manner and to the utter surprise of the nation, certain amendments were introduced in the existing laws, through an act of the parliament on October 2, 2017, which frustrated the second constitutional amendment of declaring Qadiani group non-Muslim as defined in Article 260 of the Constitution.
He added that on hue and cry of the entire nation, amendment to the act dated October 19, 2017, was introduced through which sections 7B and 7C of the Conduct of General Elections Order 2002 have been revived whereas all other laws repealed through the act dated October 2 still remain repealed and an effort has been made through an illusion to satisfy the citizens of Pakistan.
The petitioner kept on saying that even a high-level committee was constituted by the prime minister, headed by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, which in its report exposed certain elements that played havoc with this process.
He contended any provision or law cannot be introduced against the fundamental rights, so the Elections Act, 2017, is void and unconstitutional in its inception to the extent of provisions relating the finality of the prophethood.
Maulana Allah Wasaya maintained that the Elections Act, 2017, relating to the provisions of declaration and oath, is against the articles 8 and 227 of the Constitution of Pakistan and has resulted in serious law and order situation throughout the country.
He, therefore, requested the court that operation of the said enactment to the extent of the finality of the prophethood may be suspended.
In the verdict, Justice Siddiqui wrote, “Prima facie, the repealing of laws under Section 241 of the Elections Act, 2007 is against the mandate and in conflict with the Constitution, the applicability of the impugned act to the extent of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (the finality of the prophethood) only is suspended.”
The order further said, “As sections 7B and 7C, inserted through Act XXXV of 2017, revived the declarations by the candidates, available prior to the enactment, the amendment to this extent shall hold the field.”