ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court’s verdict on the procedure law will have no bearing on former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification limit as the recently-amended election laws reduced the ineligibility period to five years with retrospective effect.
Nawaz stepped down as the country’s prime minister in 2017 after he was disqualified for life from holding public office by the Supreme Court for not declaring a receivable salary.
The statement from the senior PML-N leader came following reports claiming that the apex court verdict had closed the doors for electoral politics for the former premier as it struck down a section dealing with the retrospective effect of law.
On Wednesday, the full court sustained the SC Practice and Procedure Act 2023, and dismissed the petitions against it.
However, it declared, by a majority of 8 to 7, sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Act (granting a right of appeal retrospectively) to be ultra vires the Constitution.
After the announcement of the verdict, several legal experts opined that it made matters complicated for Nawaz Sharif’s political future.
Responding to these claims, Tarar — a key member of the party’s legal team who had held consultative meetings with Nawaz Sharif in London before his departure to Pakistan — said that an amendment was made in the Elections Act, 2017 regarding five-year disqualification.
“The law says that wherever the Constitution is silent, the issue can be addressed through legislation and after the said amendment in the election laws, all those people, including Nawaz Sharif, who were disqualified for life are now eligible to contest polls.”
Tarar hailed the verdict and said that the top court had acknowledged the parliament’s legislative competence and that it has strengthened the legislature.
He also demanded to fill all the posts of the judges vacant in the Supreme Court and high courts.