Court frames questions of constitutional importance with special emphasis on interpretation of Articles 62 and 63 of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Supreme Court of Pakistan: Hearing upon the issue of disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a three judge Bench of J.S. Khawaja, S.J. Osmany and Mushir Alam, JJ. gave utmost importance to the interpretation of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan dealing with qualifications and disqualifications of the members of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). The Bench framed important constitutional questions which in the opinion of the judges are likely to have far reaching consequences.

The present case was filed and represented by Gohar Nawaz Sindhu an Advocate and Sr. Vice President of the Lawyers Wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), after his earlier petition was dismissed on grounds of maintainability.

The Court keeping in mind the background of the case observed that the present case raises questions of constitutional law that are of great significance to the continuity and health of the nation’s system of elections, governance and adherence to the will of the people as expressed in the Constitution. The questions are as follows-

·         The terms ‘honest’ and ‘ameen’ in the Articles 62 and 63 require interpretation as they are a major part of the provisions along with the effect of the 18th Amendment on these Articles.

·         It is to be seen that whether Article 66 provides absolute or qualified privilege and whether it gets overridden by Articles 62 and 63.

·         The position of High Court with respect to Articles 62, 63 and 10A.

The Court further observed that the questions need to be adjudicated because the same challenges the qualifications/disqualifications, eligibility of elected members of Parliament and also elections and bye-elections. The Court appointed Hamid Khan, Raza Rabbani, and Khawaja Haris as amicus curiae and passed directions to place the file before the Chief Justice for further orders as deemed appropriate by him including the constitution of a larger Bench. Gohar Nawaz Sindhu v. Nawaz Sharif, Civil Petition No. 1646-L of 2014, decided on 10.11.2014

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