A petition seeking the disqualification of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly lying to the parliament will be heard by the Supreme Court on December 8.
The apex court said a larger seven-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, would hear the plea by advocate Gohar Nawaz Sindhu, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Chaudhary Shujaat and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Ishaq Khan Khakwani.
The larger bench was constituted in line with a November 10 order of a three-judge bench. The petitioner’s claim that Sharif gave a false statement in the parliament on August 29.
Sharif had in a policy statement told the parliament that he did not ask the then army chief to help defuse tension between the government and protest leaders, who were agitating in Islamabad seeking his resignation.
But the army in a statement refuted Sharif, saying the Prime Minister had in fact sought support from the chief of the army staff. The petitioners say under article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, Sharif should be disqualified for lying to the parliament.
The apex court has to interpret two key terms ‘Sadiq and Amin’—honest and righteous—used in the Constitution as conditions to become a member of the parliament.
The petitioners argue that Sharif was no more honest and righteous and, thus, should be disqualified. The government lawyers have so far maintained that any communication in the parliament was immune from legal action.
There are also issues like summoning the army chief for the testimony as he was asked by Sharif to help him or not. The court has already said that only a statement by army spokesman was not enough to prosecute anyone.