SC dismisses disqualification petition against Sheikh Rashid

June 13, 2018 at 8:13 pm

ISLAMABAD: The country’s top court dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of senior politician and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed on Wednesday.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, had reserved the verdict on March 20 on an appeal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member Shakeel Awan, who lost the 2013 elections at Rawalpindi’s NA-55 constituency against Rashid.

In his petitioner, Awan had sought lifetime disqualification for Rasheed for misdeclarations of assets.
The 2-1 decision was read out by Justice Saeed. In his dissenting note, Justice Isa recommended constitution of a bench, preferably a Full Court since every judge has heard election disputes thereby acquiring knowledge to help decide questions of law raised by the appeal. The questions outlined by Justice Isa include are as following:

Does every non-disclosure or misdeclaration in the nomination form result in the disqualification of a candidate or only those whereby one has circumvented some inherent legal disability to participate in an election?

If a petition does not disclose the particular facts, on the basis of which disqualification is sought can these be considered when subsequently disclosed in the affidavit in evidence of the petitioner or which may otherwise be discovered during the hearing before the tribunal or court?

Does Article 225 of the Constitution exclude the application of Article 184(3) of the Constitution to election disputes?

If the answer to the foregoing question is in the negative then is an election dispute regarding an individual’s qualification or disqualification a matter of “public importance” which requires the ‘enforcement’ of a fundamental right and if so can it be determined under Article 184(3) of the Constitution?

If the answer to the foregoing question is in the affirmative, are the procedural and evidentiary rules governing election petitions and appeals under the ROPA the same as those governing petitions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution?

Does the “court of law” mentioned in Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution include the Supreme Court when exercising jurisdiction under Article 184(3)?

If a candidate is disqualified on account of non-disclosure or misdeclaration does such disqualification subsist only till the next election or is it permanent?

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