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SC returned PTI petition of challenging Election Reforms Act 2017

11 November, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday returned a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan 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 Supreme Court in Panama Papers case.

Raising objections on the petition, the Supreme Court’s registrar office asked the petitioner to approach the relevant forum as such a petition having particular grounds could not be filed in the apex court under Article 184 (3) of the constitution, which only deals the matters of the public interest. The petition recently filed under Article 184 (3) of the constitution through Dr Babar Awan had stated that the amendments brought in the Election Reforms Act 2017 were in violation of the constitution, as a disqualified legislator could not become the head of a political party under various provisions of the constitution. The petition claimed that there was no precedent of introducing such bills thus it might be assumed that the government had conveyed a message to the Supreme Court that it did not accept its decisions.

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 head of his party. However, he was restored as party chief by introducing an amendment in the Election Act.

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

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