LAHORE - The Supreme Court Bar Association on Saturday filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, challenging a provision of the Election Act 2017 that resulted in return of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) despite his disqualification in Panama Papers case.

Bar Secretary Aftab Ahmad Bajwa moved the petition and also challenged election of Nawaz Sharif as president of the party.

The petitioner said that disqualification recorded by a court of law under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot be surpassed by sub-constitutional law. He argued that when a person cannot become member of the parliament then how he could become head of a political party. Election of Nawaz Sharif as President of a political party is completely mockery of justice and is against the spirit of law, he further said.

He also said ruling party bypassed the doctrine of basic structure and other constitutional interpretations which had left the parliament powerless while all the laws relating to elections cannot be articulated through a single legislation.

The bar’s secretary pleaded that a provision in a democratic form of a government cannot lay down unlimited rights in view of Article 17, whereby it was clearly mentioned that every person has a right to form a political party subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law, such right cannot be already granted or taken away by repealing Political Parties Order, 2002.

He submitted that no such provision could be made to favour just a political party while all the opposition parties had also showed their reservations regarding deletion of the conditions of disqualification and such legislation can be made operative through any procedure of law.

The petitioner prayed the court to declare election of Nawaz Sharif as head of political party unlawful and unconstitutional after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court under Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution. He also prayed the court to also declare his party members as illegal and unlawful/.

He further prayed the court to set aside sections 203 and 232 of the Election Act, 2017 for being unconstitutional, mala fide, void ab-initio and of no legal effect.