Disqualification of PM to set a dangerous precedent: SC

Published: January 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: A member of the apex court’s larger bench on Tuesday dampened excitement of the PTI’s leadership when he cautioned that a dangerous precedent will be set, if the Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif merely on the basis of his speeches related to the Panama leaks.

“We being human make statements. A question arises whether the statements may become a base to disqualify someone – if yes, then it will be a dangerous precedent,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, one of the five judges hearing Panamagate case about offshore businesses of the premier’s family members.

Panamagate case: SC seeks timeline of Nawaz’s public offices

Justice Khan termed the PM Nawaz Sharif’s statement in parliament as ‘independent’ and told the PTI’s counsel Naeem Bukhari that the PM’s speech was not part of any criminal transaction and had nothing to do with Panama Papers.

“The court is examining responsibility of the PM in Panama Papers case but how we can give judgment on the basis of his statements, which have no connection with the issue?,” he said.

Another judge Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh asked the PTI’s counsel to show any precedent in the world, where the court disqualified a lawmaker. Referring to Article 10-A of the Constitution.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading the bench, also told the PTI’s lawyer that he was asking them to act as a crusader, who, while brandishing a sword, holds trial, passes an order and then also executes it.

Justice Khosa observed that the onus will be on the Sharif family to prove how such huge amount of money was maintained for more than a quarter of century.

The PTI’s counsel read out the investigation report, prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) former director general Rehman Malik in 1998. In the report the investigator had claimed that Sharifs were involved in money laundering.

Panamagate scandal: ‘Top court’s ruling to seal Pakistan’s future’

However, Justice Ejaz and Justice Sheikh observed that the report could not be accepted as evidence in this matter.

After thorough discussion, the bench allowed the PTI’s counsel to read out contents of the investigation report. Later Justice Khosa observed that much research was put into the report but it ended nowhere.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Singh
    Jan 11, 2017 - 8:29AM

    History repeating itself.
    comment before judgment are unfortunate by judges.Recommend

  • Yul47 London
    Jan 11, 2017 - 9:00AM

    It will be a huge disappointment to many Pakistanis who hinged their high expectations previously on ex Chief Justices and now the current bench only to find their spirits dampened. The Learned Judges are ill prepared to consider the amassing of family wealth directly to PM, perhaps a mistaken belief as there were other heirs to the wealth of their Late Father. It appears Shabaz was treated as the step brother with PM guarding the bounty. The Court with respect ought to have dismissed the petition after opening statements were presented, but after raising hopes of the Nations of providing justice in seeking an orderly return of what rightly belong is tax payers money. The Court in a reference stated that PTI should move the Accountability Court, whilst its own remarks about NAB of being an organisation that encourages crime. PTI has thus reached what one perceives to be the end of this political saga with the Nation of 220 million the losers. The rich and mighty will prevail. Recommend

  • Muneer
    Jan 11, 2017 - 9:35AM

    These were not statements,all three were deliberate address(written)to the nation and the Parliament to apprise them of the truth on the Panama matter.But in the Supreme Court he gave a reply different from that given earlier in the addresses.This is now a matter of breaking/ violation of his oath/ the constitution of Pakistan,fundamental right of information and above all the integrity of Pakistan in which the PM is bound to tell the truth to people of Pakistan and its elected representatives.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jan 11, 2017 - 9:37AM

    So if speeches by politicians don’t hold any weight in court of law, then why ltaf Hussain’s speeches banned from being aired?Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jan 11, 2017 - 9:56AM

    Laundering billions of dollars out of country using the highest public office is not as dangerous as setting this precident, right? Now people should realize what message NS sent out to these judges when he elevated a former supreme court judge to the position of governer Sindh recently, just as the panama proceedings kicked off. Recommend

  • TSS
    Jan 11, 2017 - 10:03AM

    Precedent or no precedent, justice is to be serve. If the judges don’t disqualify the PM based on his false statements on the floor of the house, not to mention the letter from Qatar with the sole intention of deceiving the judiciary and the public at large, then in reality they would be giving the judgement that any lawmaker especially the PM can make false claim and statements to the public because they wont be accounted for them by the judiciary, since there is ‘NO PRECEDENT’ !
    Seems very obvious that the two judges from the bench are more interested in letting the PM and his family go off the hook despite such huge evidence ! You simply cannot expect anything from this judiciary.. It’s a lost cause ! One of the very reason we are still a 3rd world country , cause you can buy the judgement in your favor !

    Remove Article 62 and 62 from the constitution if the lawmakers need not exercise it !Recommend

  • M.S.
    Jan 11, 2017 - 10:04AM

    Had been no problem if it was PPP Prime Minister. Recommend

  • Salman
    Jan 11, 2017 - 10:08AM

    are they working based on evidences, which speeches are part of, or are they trying to decide Pakistan’s fate in their own wisdom by deciding what to consider and what not to as a proof in avoiding any dangerous precedent? amazing biasedness Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 11, 2017 - 10:09AM

    The Supreme Court very wisely stopping spread of anarchy. Mian Sahib must be allowed to complete his term and leave the decision on people of Pakistan to elect him again or reject him. 220 Million people are the best judge. Recommend

  • Sohail
    Jan 11, 2017 - 10:33AM

    Why? It is like saying hanging a murderer with high position in society will set a wrong precedent. If he is guilty, serve him justice or resign yourself because you are not fulfilling your duty..Recommend

  • Javed Mirani
    Jan 11, 2017 - 10:37AM

    Letting off the hook will set dangerous precedence for children and public; in long run, that will destroy the future of the nation.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 11, 2017 - 11:06AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    What amazing logic!?!?!?! Recommend

  • Anon
    Jan 11, 2017 - 11:48AM

    Yes, the dangerous precedent being that a PMLN PM can actually be held accountable!

    It’s amazing how brazenly the power structure of the country is now telling everyone that they will never ever act against the Sharif’s no matter what!Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jan 11, 2017 - 11:49AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: i don’t think the population of Punjab is 220 million, is it? Moreover, the only judge in this country is money chaudhry saab. More you have, higher the representation in assembly. Recommend

  • nadeem
    Jan 11, 2017 - 11:52AM

    judge Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh asked the PTI’s counsel to show any precedent in the world, where the court disqualified a lawmaker

    Answer: Pakistan, YRG was sent homeRecommend

  • Mamu
    Jan 11, 2017 - 12:01PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Hahhaa,,,,,again playing the electoral card. The majority did not vote for Noon and will again not vote for Noon. You can rig the ballots as much as you want.Recommend

  • saqib
    Jan 11, 2017 - 12:01PM

    Supreme Court judges are desperately trying to give clean chit to PM under one pretext or another. This kind of behavior sets a dangerous precedent for the whole country. Recommend

  • PakPower
    Jan 11, 2017 - 12:25PM

    The remarks of these judges are confounding. You can’t just negate a whole series of incirminating evidence. This gives the impression that they have already made up their minds with regards to Sharif’s innocence. That too with little in support offered by the government.Recommend

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