ISLAMABAD: Senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan has rescused himself from becoming amicus curiae (friend of court) before the five-judge larger bench that is going to determine whether disqualification of lawmakers under Article 62(1)(f) is for life or time specific.
Former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani had appointed Makhdoom Ali Khan as amicus curiae. However, the larger bench, headed by Justice Jamali could not conclude the proceedings during his tenure.
The five-judge larger bench is being headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprised Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.
It is going to resume hearing in a number of related cases regarding the length of disqualification of parliamentarians under Article 62(1) (f) on January 30.
“I was appointed as amicus curiae in the title case on April 10, 2014 by then Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani. Three years later, I appeared in constitution petition (Imran Khan Niazi v Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif) for the former PM Nawaz Sharif”, says the letter.
SC larger bench to determine lifetime disqualification issue
It is also stated that on July 28, 2017, in proceeding in which he was not counsel, the former PM was disqualified from being a member of the National Assembly by a five member larger bench of this court.
“This is important constitutional case but has also acquired large political overtones. I may not therefore, be regarded by the parties involved and the public at large as neutral in the matter. I would not prefer not to be embroiled in such a controversy, I therefore, humbly request that the notice issued to me as amicus curiae be discharged”, says the letter.
Legal experts believe that the proceedings on the matter will be significant because it will decide the fate of several parliamentarians, including PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, who have been disqualified under the said article.
Khan has great expertise on constitutional and international legal issues. He has represented several countries before international courts. The Supreme Court has also appointed him as amicus in more than 10 cases. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa appreciated his style of advocacy in Panamagate case.
Deposed PM challenges disqualification in SC
On the other hand, a senior member of the legal team of the Sharif family believes that the larger bench should give notice to all affected persons, whether they are party before it or not, adding that the amicus, including Ulema should be appointed to assist the matter.
Likewise, another senior lawyer says that Sharif and Jahangir Tareen should themselves move application for becoming party in this case.
Meanwhile, the chief justice, while hearing an election matter related to local bodies representative of Multan Cantonment Board, observed that the larger bench will decide whether disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution is lifelong or time specific.
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