Tyrian White case appeal lands in SC

Petition seeks to reignite case despite Islamabad High Court ruling

Hasnaat Malik June 16, 2024
The Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: APP/FILE


A petition has surfaced in the Supreme Court challenging the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruling concerning the dismissal of a case about the disqualification of former prime minister Imran Khan over alleged discrepancies in his 2018 election nomination papers, specifically regarding his purported daughter Tyrian Khan White.

The move comes despite a clear ruling earlier by a higher bench, which deemed Article 62 (1) (f) of the constitution inapplicable in such matters.

Petitioner Muhammad Sajid, represented by counsel Advocate Saad Hashmi, has moved against the IHC’s dismissal of the case on May 21.

Legal pundits are scratching their heads, questioning the rationale behind such a move when a larger bench has already laid down the law. Interestingly, the petition fails to reference this decision.

Meanwhile, the IHC is yet to provide detailed reasoning behind its decision to toss out the case against the PTI founding chairman.

Reacting to the development, a lawyer alleged that the move was clearly a smear tactic against Imran Khan who has been disqualified in other cases already.

Justice Munib Akhtar, in a recent judgment, reinforced that the Habib Akram case, a mere interim order, has no bearing as law post-2018 elections. The petition has questioned the IHC judgment on several grounds.

It has contended that the IHC erred in considering the concurring opinion of two judges as the majority judgment of the court. It stated that it was a matter of record that in the earlier round of hearing the case was heard by a full bench comprising three judges. The case was reserved for judgment.

The petition argued that no judgment was, however, announced. The case was not listed for announcement of judgment. “The Hon’ble Chief Justice of IHC, Mr Justice Aamer Farooq did not give an opinion.”

The two judges released their opinions on the website of IHC. In view of the law declared by this court in a number of judgments, the opinion of two Judges did not constitute a judgment of the court. The impugned order passed by relying on that judgment is, therefore, erroneous and liable to be set aside on this ground alone, the petition said.

It further stated that the full bench was not bound by the concurring opinion of two judges given in the earlier round of hearing of the petition. For all intents and purposes, the opinion of two judges was not a judgment. “It had no binding effect. The full bench was not bound by that opinion.”

It contended that the petition was dismissed by the full bench without providing the petitioner an opportunity for a hearing. “It is respectfully submitted that the petitioner was condemned unheard.”

It further submitted that the concurring opinion of two judges of the IHC is not a judgment as per the law laid down by this court. It is the order of the court which is the judgment. A bench comprising of three judges can decide the case by a majority of 2:1.

However, the concurring opinion of two judges in the absence of the order of the Court cannot be considered a judgment. This is trite law.


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