Court rules: SC slaps Rs20,000 fine on AGP

Top law officer’s absence from court irks CJP

Our Correspondent February 13, 2018
Says the Panamagate case judgment affected the trichotomy of powers in the country. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali to pay a fine of Rs20,000 for failing to appear in the court to argue the matter related to the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

Additional Attorney General Waqar Rana submitted that AG Ashtar was in Lahore to offer condolence over the demise of Asma Jahangir.

However, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered the AGP to pay Rs20,000 fine from his pocket which will be deposited in the account of Fatmid Foundation and adjourned the case till Wednesday.

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“We are also saddened by the demise of Asma Jahangir, but the pressing issue must not be ignored,” the chief justice remarked.

However, a senior law officer expressed his apprehension that such an order against the AGP may damage his position when he being the top law officer of the country will appear at different international forums.

Meanwhile, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order, renowned lawyer Chaudhry Faisal Hussain has furnished his written submissions, wherein he suggested that parliament is the right forum to determine the time and duration regarding disqualification of parliamentarians under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

Faisal in his statement referred the criteria of qualification and disqualification of different countries.

The statement concludes that perpetual disqualifications from the legislative forums are neither unique nor unfair; rather, it has been adopted by many other states.

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He further suggested that dishonesty backed by a judicial verdict under Article 62(1)(f) stands as a disqualification till such declaration (from any court of law) holds the field, as the concept of ‘sunset’ does not apply on the judicial decisions.

“The disqualification provided in Article 62(1)(f) is subject to a lawful declaration by the court of law, that can be rendered either by ordinary courts of law, by the tribunals established to resolve the election disputes or by the superior courts in their Constitutional Jurisdiction and the constitutional mandate and will of the people will be obliterated by reading Article 63 into Article 62 of the Constitution.”


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