Pakistani Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from being PML-N chief

Pakistani Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from being PML-N chief

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday announced its verdict on petitions challenging the Elections Act 2017, ruling that a person disqualified under Article 62 and 63 can not serve as the head of a political party. It citied articles 62 and 63 of the Pakistani Constitution, which state that a disqualified individual can not lead a party, Pakistan Today reported. Earlier, after hearing the petitions against Election Act of 2017, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict to decide the political fate of Nawaz Sharif.

The Chief Justice said that as a outcome, Senate tickets issued by Sharif were also declared void, throwing the fate of March 3 Senate elections in doubt.

Law expert S.M. Zafar, while talking to DawnNews, said that, legally at least, the apex court's decision is in accordance with the Constitution because a person who is not eligible to be a National Assembly member should not be party chief.

"A party head must necessarily possess the qualifications and be free of the disqualifications contemplated in Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution", the bench ruled. As a result of the verdict, all decisions taken by Nawaz Sharif as PML-N's president stand null and void.

The verdict adds that all steps taken, orders passed, directions given and documents issued by Nawaz Sharif as party head after his disqualification in July past year are also declared to have never been taken, passed, given or issued in the eyes of the law.

The decision comes months after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) passed a law allowing Sharif to remain at its helm despite being removed from the premiership and barred from holding any office over graft allegations last July. One is regarding the duration of his disqualification, and the other decision is related to corruption referemces being heard by the accountability court.

Chief Justice Nisar also observed that there is no reason for the apex court to use words like thief, adding that the fallout of the issue is unacceptable. "He will decide who will be the next prime minister and the party leader", an emotional Aurungzeb told reporters.

In its judgment, the bench held that Sharif does not qualify to serve as the PML-N president. She said verdicts from all Courts were coming against Nawaz Sharif. The standoff was ended by the military, which removed both of them from office in 1999.

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