IHC throws out disqualification petition against PM

Court says that it would impose a fine if it received a similar petition again

Zaigham Naqvi January 21, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition, challenging the eligibility of Prime Minister Imran Khan as member of the National Assembly.

A two-member divisional bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the case filed by Hafiz Athisham, spokesperson of the Lal Masjid's Shuhada Foundation.

The petitioner, in his plea, had claimed that the prime minister had concealed the information about his alleged parentage of Tyrian Jade Khan White in his nomination papers for the 2018 election submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

SC dismisses petition seeking PM Imran’s disqualification

Terming the petition non-maintainable as it involved personal matters, the judges refused to dwell on the arguments and admonished the petitioner for not understanding the law or respecting Islamic teachings about respecting others' privacy.

Ehtesham argued that Imran Khan was a public office-holder and; therefore, his personal matters could not be considered beyond scrutiny.

However, Justice Minallah asked the petitioner if he had read Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution under which he had sought PM Imran's disqualification.

Article 63(1)(h) stipulates that a person convicted of a crime of "moral turpitude" and sentenced to jail for not less than two years can contest elections if five years have lapsed since his release.

"In Islam, it has been said that [one should attempt to] put a curtain on [other people's] private matters," the IHC judge added, admonishing the petitioner for interfering in what the judge believed to be a personal matter for the premier.

He also warned the petitioner that if such requests were submitted in the future, the petitioner would be fined.

The prime minister's counsel, Dr Babar Awan, was present in court on his behalf. However, he did not need to present his arguments as the court discarded the petition while hearing the petitioner.


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