Pakistan SC Disqualifies Former PM Nawaz Sharif From Holding Public Office For Life

| April 13 , 2018 , 12:46 IST

In a landmark verdict, the Pakistan Supreme Court on Friday ruled that disqualification from holding public office under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution is for life, referring to the same article under which former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been disqualified.

According to local media, the verdict was issued unanimously by all 5 judges of the bench, regarding the Article 62 (1)(f) of Pakistan's Constitution, which requires that a public servant should not have "worked against the integrity of the country or opposed the ideology of Pakistan".

Nawaz Sharif had been disqualified by a 5-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on July 28, 2017 for his role in the Panama Papers case. Apart from Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was also disqualified on December 15, 2017, under the same provision of the Constitution.

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In the past, the duration of the disqualification from holding public office under the Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution was decided on a case-to-case basis. However, after Friday's verdict, lawmakers disqualified under the Article 62(1)(f) cannot contest elections for their entire life.

Previously, on February 21, the Pakistan Supreme Court had ruled that a person disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot serve as the head of a political party, dealing another blow to Sharif.

The verdict came as a response to more than a dozen Public interest litigations challenging the Elections Act 2017 hushed up by the parliament making way for Nawaz Sharif leading the PML-N after being disqualified from the Prime Ministerial post by the Supreme Court.