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Pakistani Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif to be PML-N chief

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Story Dated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 04:33 hrs UTC

Pakistan's Apex Court has ordered that former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif cannot serve as party head and should be removed. Nawaz was disqualified by an apex court in the Panama Papers case last year under Article 62 of the Constitution for failing to declare a receivable salary as an asset.

While delivering verdict on the petitions challenging the controversial Elections Act 2017, a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar stated that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 cannot serve as party head.

"The passage of the Elections Act 2017 bulldozed through the Upper and Lower houses last year paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to resume his position as PML-N chief following his disqualification from public office, says Dawn reports.

As per Dawn News, the chief justice on Wednesday said that a person who is disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution is not eligible to sign on any document that is needed to nominate someone to the National Assembly or Senate. The verdict was announced in courtroom number 1.

With the judgement, the court has ruled out tickets issued by Sharif for the Senate elections to be null and void.

The Senate elections scheduled for March 3 will also be postponed, DawnNews reported.

The SC had been hearing petitions against the Elections Act 2017 filed by the Pakistan Tereek-i-Insaf (PTI), Awami Muslim League's leader Sheikh Rashid, PPP and others, since January 2018.

During the course of Wednesday's hearing, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Rana Waqar told the SC that the Constitution provides every citizen with the right to join or form a political party.

Waqar referred to Article 17 of the Constitution that concerns "freedom of association" and said that the second clause of the article specifically gives citizens the right to form or join a political party.

Justice Nisar, however, said that in Pakistan's political setup, political parties are personality driven. Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan seconded the CJP's statement, saying that political parties are a "one-man show".

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