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Imran Khan filed petition in SC challenging Election Reforms Act 2017

07 November, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Election Reforms Act 2017, a law which paved the way for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to head the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) despite being disqualified by the apex court in Panama Papers case.

The petition filed under Article 184 (3) of the constitution through Dr Babar Awan stated that the amendments brought through the Election Reforms Act 2017, were in violation of the constitution as a disqualified person could not become the head of a political party under various provisions of the constitution.

The petition claims that there is no precedent of introducing such bills, thus it may be assumed that the government has conveyed a message to the Supreme Court that it does not accept its decisions.

It contended that the amendment in the law was introduced just to restore the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as the PML-N president.

When Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister through its July 28, 2017 verdict in the Panama Papers case, he also lost his position as his party head. However, later he was restored as party head through an amendment in the Election Act.

The petition states that the changes in the Election Act allowing a disqualified parliamentarian to hold a position in a political party was in direct conflict with Article 204 and 175 of the constitution.

It said allowing a disqualified person to hold a position in a political party was also against the provisions of the Political Parties Order 2002, thus liable to be declared null and void.

It said since the amendments made through Election Act were against Article 175 and 204 of the constitution, thus clauses 9, 10 and 203 of the act may be declared void.

The petition contends that the amendments were merely aimed at giving constitutional cover to disqualified Nawaz Sharif to regain his position as head of his party, thus Article 9, 10 and 203 of Election Reforms Act may be declared as null and void.

By bringing an amendment to the law, which generally pertains to the holding of general elections in the country, the ruling PNL-N had allowed disqualified premier Nawaz Sharif to regain leadership of the party.

The intra-party election of PML-N was held after the National Assembly passed the Elections Bill 2017, paving way for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to regain the ruling party’s chairmanship.

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