ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed as frivolous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) constitutional petition for the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and some other lawmakers in the wake of the Panama Papers controversy.
Party chief Imran Khan on Monday filed a constitutional petition in the SC, seeking its directives for de-seating the prime minister, his son-in-law Muhammad Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar from the National Assembly due to their alleged corruption and tax evasion through offshore companies.
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However, the SC registrar on Tuesday returned the PTI’s plea by raising five objections. The registrar office held that the plea prima facie appeared to be frivolous and the petitioner did not approach any high court for the redress of grievance in the instant matter.
The order stated that the petitioner was directly invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of the SC under Article 184 (3) of Constitution, which is not permissible in view of the SC’s judgment.
“The petitioner (Imran Khan) has not approached any other appropriate forum available to him under the law for the same relief. He has also not provided the justification for not doing so,” it added.
It said the petition prima facie appeared to be frivolous within the contemplation of Rule 5 of Order XXV of the Supreme Court rules 1980, which states that in disposing of any such rule, the court may, in its discretion, make such order for costs as it may consider just.
Reacting to the objections, PTI’s senior leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani said the registrar has no authority to accept or reject the petition and it is prerogative of the judges to decide on it.
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Khakwani said the legal team will now file an appeal against the registrar’s order. He also expressed anger over declaring the PTI’s petition as ‘frivolous’.
“It is very strange that the same type of objection is being raised on every constitutional petition, whether moved by a habitual petitioner or by one of the top jurists of the country like Hamid Khan. I, therefore, request the CJP to take notice of the registrar office’s objections,” he added.
Meanwhile, Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali appreciated the registrar office’s objections and said the SC only entertains those constitutional petitions wherein the matter can only be decided without recording the evidences.
Chaudhry Akhtar Ali, advocate on record (AoR) in the SC, contended that after retirement of former CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the registrar office was raising such kind of objections to discourage the trend of filing constitutional petitions under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2016.