ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court has ruled that it will hear the disqualification petitions against all MNAs and MPAs together and give a combined ruling on it.
The combined cases will be heard on March 9. The cases will be wrapped up together so that the court can listen to other petitioners, the court remarked.
The court made the remarks while hearing the disqualification case against Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday.
The court has a clear stance on hearing cases against the representatives of the government. Courts should not be used for political motives, said Chief Justice Athar Minallah. “Why should we hear cases that will eventually lead to the criticism of the courts?”
The petitioner said that the court has to make a decision if the law is violated anywhere, the petitioner said, adding that former PM Nawaz Sharif was also disqualified by the courts.
Former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that Parliament should amend Article 62 (1)(f). If it remains the same, then all of us could be disqualified under it, the court added.
Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution is a provision requiring elected officials to be ‘sadiq and ameen’ or honest and righteous. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen were disqualified under this clause.
If people have been electing the wrong representatives, then let them do so, said Justice Minallah. Giving verdicts on political matters has affected the judiciary, he remarked.
“We trust the people to make the right decision,” he said, adding that matters that relate to a person’s competence and disqualification should be solved out of courts.
Chaudhry, who attended the hearing, said that whatever has been presented in court is nothing but a classic example of blackmailing. “Courts are supposed to protect us from being blackmailed.”
Responding to Chaudhry, Justice Minallah said that the politicians should play their role in changing the blackmail culture. “People hurl abuses at judges on social media,” he remarked, adding that MPAs and MNAs should try to change this culture too.
Journalist Sami Ibrahim filed a disqualification petition against the federal minister two years ago. He claimed that the minister did not disclose details of the land he owns in Jhelum in his nomination papers for the 2018 General Election.
Ibrahim and Chaudhry are no strangers. A controversy had erupted after the federal minister slapped the Bol News anchor during a wedding ceremony in Faisalabad in June. The minister told BBC Urdu at the time that he slapped Ibrahim after he got angry. Chaudhry said that he made a new advertisement policy when he was minister for information and divided the channels into A, B, C and D categories on the basis of ratings.
Ibrahim, he said, approached him and asked him to put his channel into category A and asked for an adjustment of Rs20 million.
Chaudhry said that Ibrahim ran a campaign against him and tried to blackmail him when he [Chaudhry] declined.