These key personalities may get relief from new SC legislation

Nawaz Sharif, Yousuf Raza Gillani and Jahangir Tareen may approach the Supreme Court to seek relief

By
Muhammad Anis
|
Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
(L-R) Former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousuf Raza Gillani can be seen in this combo along with Jahangir Khan Tareen.
(L-R) Former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousuf Raza Gillani can be seen in this combo along with Jahangir Khan Tareen. 

Key political figures, including former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousuf Raza Gilani, along with senior politicians like Jahangir Tareen may approach the top court seeking relief under the new bill passed by the National Assembly.

The NA okayed on Wednesday the historic Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 which seeks to limit the discretionary powers of the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) to take suo moto notice under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

The House had allowed the amendment, moved by MNA Mohsin Dawar, according to which the bill on commencement of the Act would have the retrospective effect when it comes to filing an appeal against an order, passed by the chief justice under the said article.

“The right of appeal will also be available to an aggrieved person against whom an order under Article 184(3) was passed prior to commencement of this law provided that an appeal under this section is filed within 30 days of commencement of this Act,” as per the amendment.

Application of the law, passed by the National Assembly and supposed to be laid before the Senate today, would pave the way for contesting the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified under Article 62(F) of the Constitution way back in 2017, it is believed.

Nawaz Sharif

Under the new law, the former PM may file an appeal against the Supreme Court verdict within 30 days of the commencement of this law.

The SC had disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in the Panama Papers case. The decision was announced under Article 184(3) on applications filed by PTI chief Imran Khan.

During the suo motu reference hearing, the SC directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file four references. In two references, Nawaz Sharif, and in one reference, Maryam Nawaz were convicted. However, the Lahore High Court acquitted Maryam Nawaz in the reference.

Yusuf Raza Gilani

Also, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Yusuf Raza Gilani, estranged PTI leader Jehangir Khan Tareen and affected persons of the Nasla Tower, Karachi, would also have the right to file appeals.

Various other important cases may also be opened and appeals filed once the new legislation is made.

Jehangir Khan Tareen

On an application of Hanif Abbasi, the SC disqualified Jehangir Khan Tareen for life and declared Imran Khan Sadiq and Ameen. Under the new law, Hanif Abbasi would be able to file an appeal against the Sadiq and Ameen verdict.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa

A reference against Qazi Faez Isa had been filed by the PTI government. Justice Faez Isa had challenged the reference under Article 184(3), and the apex court had thrown out the presidential reference terming it “invalid”.

Pervez Musharraf

The SC had declared former president Pervez Musharraf reference against former CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry illegal under Article 184(3). Also, General Musharraf’s act of proclaiming an emergency on November 3, 2007, was declared an unconstitutional act by the SC under Article 184(3).

The court had ordered filing a high treason case against Gen Musharraf on the application of Rawalpindi Bar under Article 184(3).

NRO

The SC had also declared the first NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] illegal under the same article and later convicted Yusuf Raza Gilani in contempt of court for not implementing the court order in that case.

Imran Khan and others had challenged the Speaker’s ruling under Article 184(3), and Yusuf Raza Gilani was barred from holding public office for five years.

Deedar Hussain Shah

Deedar Hussain Shah’s appointment as the NAB chairman was declared illegal by the SC under the same article.

The SC decision that a person disqualified for life could not be appointed as political party chief was also given under the same suo motu powers.

There are almost 400 such cases that were decided under 184(3).