SC to take up pleas against Election Act tomorrow

ISLAMABAD –  A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will take up the petitions against the Election Act 2017 tomorrow (Monday).

Thirteen petitions have been filed against the Election Act 2017 in the Supreme Court. Those who filed the petitions included Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, All Pakistan Aam Admi Party, Justice Party, Muhammad Dawood Ghaznavi, Abdul Wadood Qureshi, Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din, Pakistan People’s Party, Jamshed Ahmed Khan Dasti, National Party, Imran Khan, Ishtiaq Ahmed Chaudhry and Gohar Nawaz Sindhu. Almost all the petitions raised objections on allowing Nawaz Sharif as president of PML-N even after the apex court’s judgment.

The petitioners urged the court to declare the election of Nawaz Sharif as President of PML-N unconstitutional. They contend that Section 203 of the Election Act, 2017 cannot expressly permit any person, disqualified by any court of law, to remain as or to become an office-bearer of a political party.

According to the petitioners, disqualification recorded by a court of law under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot be overtaken by sub-constitutional law and if a person cannot become parliamentarian because of the operation of constitutional law, he surely cannot become the head or an office-bearer of a political party.

Terming the proposed amendment mala fide and unconstitutional, they contended, these amendments were being introduced just to accommodate Nawaz Sharif. They requested the Supreme Court to declare Nawaz Sharif disqualified as the head of the PML-N.

They said that declaring sections 203 and 232 of the Election Act of 2017 and deletion of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath through the (same) act to be completely without jurisdiction, unconstitutional, mala fide and [having] no legal effect.

They said that the election of Nawaz Sharif as President of PML-N a 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.

They 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.

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