Democracy, Drama and Disqualification - Sharifs Out?
The News, February 25, 2009
ISLAMABAD: The three-member Bench of Supreme Court has disposed off Sharif brothers’ electoral eligibility case by declaring them ineligible for contesting elections in its two-line short order announced here.
Shahbaz Sharif under this verdict has lost his seat in the provincial assembly and being no longer member of the Punjab House, he is no more Punjab chief minister, as SC has annulled the earlier notification about his being chief minister.
This case was under hearing of the SC three-member Bench headed by Justice Musa K. Laghari for the last eight months, in which, the Attorney General of Pakistan, Latif Khosa giving his arguments said that Punjab chief secretary and speaker were not the party in the case. Attorney General said that all the judges have taken oaths under the constitution and talking about the oath of the interim constitution was irrelevant.
He said that Nawaz Sharif’s proposer and seconder could become parties in the case if the court permits them and their becoming parties was not necessary. He further said that it was the discretion of the judge to withdraw from the Bench and no one could direct him to pull out.
On conclusion of the arguments, after a short break, the Bench disposing off the Sharif brothers’ eligibility case declared them ineligible.
Following the verdict, Sharif brothers’ lawyer, Akram Sheikh told media that the decision was as expected, as the government was giving dictation to the judges. He said that Sharif brothers were declared ineligible on the orders of President Zardari. He said that the judges would be made accountable on the Day of Judgement. Akram Shiekh said that now it was up to the people to decide if the verdict was on merit. He said that he couldn’t comment on the incomplete two-line judgment. This decision would be presented as bouquet to President Asif Zardari on his return from the China tour.
ML-N workers in sizable number were present on the occasion of the announcement of verdict raising slogans in favour of long march and Sharif brothers. Security arrangement remain tightened in the capital city here.
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