ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Monday rejected the plea for formation of larger bench regarding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification and adjourned hearing of the case till October 2.
The three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja comprising Justice Musheer Alam and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan heard the identical petitions filed by former MNA and PTI leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani, President Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Gohur Sindhu Advocate.
The petitioners requested the court to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under Article 62-f of the constitution claiming he gave a false statement in the joint sitting of the Parliament over the role of the army in negotiations with PTI and PAT to end the sit-ins.
Justice Jawad Khawaja remarked that the chief justice has the authority to form a larger bench; therefore a separate petition should be filed.
The apex court also directed the petitioners lawyer to prepare for Article 69, 68 and 95 during the next hearing of the case.
During the course of proceedings, Petitioner Gauhar Nawaz Sindhu said that during the joint sitting of the parliamentary session Nawaz Sharif had stated that Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri requested to meet the army chief and he did not ask Chief of Army Staff to intervene for resolving the on going political issue. However, an ISPR press release confirmed that the government had requested army to mediate in order to resolve political crisis, he added.
He said that Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar had also stated that army is non-political and ISPR gave the statement after consulting the government.
Another petitioner Ishaq Khakwani’s counsel Irfan Qadri said that Supreme Court has disqualified several members of parliament in many registered cases.
Nawaz Sharif should also be disqualified on basis of this case and the Election Commission of Pakistan should be ordered to de-notify Prime Minister, he added.
Justice Jawad responded that the case hearing was required to begin at 11.30 am but petitioner Gauhar wasn’t present and now the judges have to join a larger bench for hearing of another case. Therefore, the case hearing will have to be postponed.
During the hearing, there was an exchange of harsh words between Ifran Qadri and Justice Jawad Khwaja. Irfan Qadri argued by saying that the case was called `out of turn’. Justice Jawad in response accepted it as a fault to which Qadri retaliated by saying that it is rather a mistake caused by the current political circumstances.
The hearing of the case was adjourned until October 2.