ISLAMABAD - Heading a three-member bench Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk Tuesday dismissed 17-year-old petitions for disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the 14th Amendment.

The supreme court presently is clearing the backlog by dismissing or disposing of applications filed 12 to 14 years ago without any action on them. The applications were confined to the Supreme Court files for long duration but were not taken up in the court and to considerable lapse of time lost its effectiveness.

Manzoor Qadir, father of former Attorney General Irfan Qadir, and the PPP leader Iqbal Haider, in 1998 had filed separate petitions for the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as his government introduced the 14th Amendment.

The court also dismissed the applications against the 14th Amendment as the petitioner Babar Awan withdrew it. PPP Senator Babar Awan and Taj Haider had filed the petition in 1997. During that period, many amendments were made the constitution, which have made in this application against 14th Amendment ineffective.

During the proceedings, Babar Awan was present in the court. He informed that he was not interested to pursue his 17-year-old petition as it had become ineffective. He said in the cause list, before the case name, the words ‘dead wood’ have been written, which are used in diplomatic communiqué, particularly the United Nations resolution that are very old. The chief justice remarked that the ‘dead wood’ indicates the application has become ineffective and old.

A three-member bench presided over by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali disposed of the reference sent by former President Pervez Musharraf under Article 186 of the Constitution seeking the Supreme Court opinion regarding banning of Fiqa-e-Jaferia and Sipah-e-Sahaba. The court disposed of the reference as for being ineffective and old.

The same bench also rejected the application of Tauqir Arshad Lodhi in 2000 for the restoration of assemblies.