Home Global Village Nawaz not to be Party to case on Petition which Challenges him...

Nawaz not to be Party to case on Petition which Challenges him as Party head

petition

News Analysis |

The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Tuesday resumed the hearing of the petition which challenged the Elections Act 2017. The Act allowed Nawaz Sharif to become the party head of PML-N again after his disqualification in the 28th July 2017 SC verdict. A three member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar is hearing the case.

Nawaz Sharif, through his counsel Azam Nazeer Tarar, informed the court that he is not interested in becoming a party to the case because the amendment was made by the PML-N and the parliament so it is their responsibility to defend it. Sharif absolved himself from the burden of proof by putting the responsibility on his party.

While Parliament and elected representatives have the supreme power of law making in the country, other state institutions should not be neglected when it comes to implementation and interpretation of law.

The bench decided to proceed the case without Sharif but offered him to join the proceedings anytime he wants. Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked whether a dishonest person can be allowed to become the leader of honest people since Nawaz Sharif has been declared dishonest in a unanimous decision by the SC.

Several petitions were filed in the SC against the Elections Act 2017 passed by the parliament which restored Nawaz Sharif as the party head of PML-N. The petitions were accepted by the SC on 1st January 2018. Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N and secretaries of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), National Assembly and Senate were served notices regarding the petition.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif hoping to transform Sindh “if given the chance”

Nawaz Sharif has decided not to become party in another case in the SC regarding the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) under which he was disqualified as the prime minister. The response submitted by Sharif in the SC states that he decided not to become a part of the case after consulting PML-N leaders. Sharif added that his participation in the case might add prejudice to it.

Nawaz Sharif is setting a wrong precedent by not becoming a part of SC’s proceeding even after multiple invitations, claim some political experts. If the state institutions are not respected and consulted regarding matters of national importance.

The response also stated that if Nawaz Sharif wanted to become a party in the case, he would have asked Justice Saeed and Justice Ahsan to step aside from the case since they were part of the bench that disqualified him in the Panama Papers case.

A five-judge SC bench consisting of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah has taken up 17 cases pertaining to disqualification under the Article 62. While there were more than a dozen cases of lawmakers disqualified for fake degrees, the most substantial ones are that of Sharif and Tareen.

Read more: SC issues notice to Nawaz Sharif after adjourning Article 62(1)(f) hearing

Both of the cases in which Nawaz Sharif has decided not to become a party are related to the 28th July 2017 Panama Papers case verdict which disqualified Nawaz as the PM. The first case is related to the Elections Act 2017 which allows a disqualified person to become the leader of a political leader. The second case is related to the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) under which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified.

Sharif has put the burden of proof on his party and the parliament rather than himself since at the time of the amendment; he was neither a member of the parliament, nor the head of his party.

After the Panama Papers verdict, Nawaz Sharif has started a tirade against the judiciary and refused to accept the verdict given by the SC. Political analysts believe that Nawaz Sharif’s refusal to become part of either of the proceedings reflects that Nawaz does not handle his issues in the SC anymore. Becoming part of the case which discusses the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) is akin to accepting that you’ve not been honest and you’re seeking redemption. Since Nawaz refused to accept his fault, becoming part of the case would go against his whole anti-judiciary strategy.

Read more: Bangladesh: Why Nawaz Sharif has a poor understanding of history

Regarding the case against the Elections Act 2017, legal experts have called Nawaz’s decision, to not become part of the proceedings, a very clever one because even though Nawaz has been the immediate beneficiary of the amendment, it was passed by the parliament and brought to the floor by PML-N. Sharif has put the burden of proof on his party and the parliament rather than himself since at the time of the amendment; he was neither a member of the parliament, nor the head of his party.

The response also stated that if Nawaz Sharif wanted to become a party in the case, he would have asked Justice Saeed and Justice Ahsan to step aside from the case since they were part of the bench that disqualified him in the Panama Papers case.

According to media analysts, SC is putting its efforts in trying to appease Nawaz after his disqualification and later his anti-judiciary polemics. Sharif has created an environment of distrust against the judiciary with his incendiary public speeches, and he’s been giving the impression that the judiciary is not fair and it is being controlled by an outer hand. Analysts claim that SC’s attempts to engage Sharif confirm this hypothesis.

Nawaz Sharif is setting a wrong precedent by not becoming a part of SC’s proceeding even after multiple invitations, claim some political experts. If the state institutions are not respected and consulted regarding matters of national importance, it will result in chaos and mob rule in the country. While Parliament and elected representatives have the supreme power of law making in the country, other state institutions should not be neglected when it comes to implementation and interpretation of law.