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“Everyone is deceitful in this country”, remarks CJP

CJP Khosa said that the main problem in the country was of lying and deceit wondering if the educated ones were deceitful then what would the illiterate do. In past, the top court has disqualified two prime ministers and a leader of the ruling party for not being honest and truthful and refusing to comply with court orders.

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The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked on Friday that lying and deceit were the main problem of the country, adding that people were ‘deceitful in this country.’ “Everyone is deceitful in this country,” remarked the CJP during the hearing of a case of a government servant, Lubna Bilqees, doing two simultaneous jobs in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

“A government employee, who does two jobs and lies about it, does not deserve any kind of a job,” remarked CJP Khosa. He said that the main problem in the country was of lying and deceit wondering if the educated ones were deceitful then what would the illiterate do.

Gilani was disqualified as a member of parliament and the top court had ordered Zardari to take steps to appoint a new prime minister.

It emerged during the hearing that Bilqees was appointed as a teacher in Grade 9 at City School in 2009. In 2012, she became a lecturer in Grade 17 on a contract basis. Her counsel informed the three-member bench that she took a year-long unpaid leave from City School after starting the lecturer’s job.

The CJP noted that Bilqees’ contract was further extended as she continued with the lecturer’s job, adding that she continued receiving salary from the City School in her bank account. When the counsel informed the bench that his client had returned all the salaries, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked that she committed fraud.

Read more: Provision of speedy justice: CJP unimpressed with parliament’s role

“You committed fraud. Submitted the resignation with the City School after three years,” he said. The CJP added: “you can’t neglect the facts. You did two jobs simultaneously, which is a crime.” The top judge then remarked that “everyone is deceitful in this country”, adding “Lubna Bilqees thought that it was a matter of FATA so no one will know about it.

It emerged during the hearing that Bilqees was appointed as a teacher in Grade 9 at City School in 2009. In 2012, she became a lecturer in Grade 17 on contract basis.

After this, Lubna Bilqees is not entitled to hold any public office,” he said. Hearing the remarks, the counsel requested the bench to allow him to withdraw the appeal, which the court accepted. Bilqees had approached the Supreme Court after Peshawar High Court had turned down her appeal of allowing her to simultaneously do two jobs.

Read more: CJP Khosa announces model courts for speedy trials

Disqualifications of Sharif, Tareen for not being Sadiq and Ameen

The debate on the constitutional provisions relating to the qualifications and disqualifications of legislators, especially Sadiq and Ameen (truthful and honest) clause, triggered in Pakistan since the Supreme Court formally took up the Panama Papers case.

It is pertinent to note that Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be Sadiq and Ameen, is the same provision under which the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by a five-judge bench of the top court on July 28, 2017, in the Panama Papers case.

The counsel informed the bench that his client had returned all the salaries, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked that she committed fraud.

Similarly, on December 15, 2017, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was disqualified by a separate bench of the apex court under the same provision. The court has held that both Sharif and Tareen have been deemed ineligible to hold public office till the courts’ respective declarations against them hold the field.

Read more: How will CJP Khosa deal with people lying before the court?

PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani Disqualified

In 2012, the Supreme Court had disqualified Pakistan Peoples Party’s Yusuf Raza Gilani from his post as the prime minister of Pakistan. The decision had come after Gilani was convicted of contempt for refusing to ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against the then President Asif Ali Zardari.

The then chief justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had ruled that Gilani had effectively not been prime minister since April 26, 2012, when he had been found guilty of contempt for refusing to comply with a Supreme Court order to reopen dormant fraud investigations against Zardari.

As a convict, Gilani was disqualified as a member of parliament and the top court had ordered Zardari to take steps to appoint a new prime minister. Following the SC’s judgment, the Election Commission of Pakistan had de-notified Gilani as member of the National Assembly and declared his seat vacant.