ECP to hold NA-120 By-election after Nawaz Sharif Disqualification

Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday disqualified Nawaz Sharif as a Prime Minister and MNA NA-120 in Panama Papers case related to the allegations against the Sharif family for their alleged money laundering and establishing properties abroad.

The Court also referred the graft case to Accountability Court. The bench also ordered the National Accountability Bureau to wrap up the case in six months.

Five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and including Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsen, announced the judgment. It was an unanimous decision by all the five judges.

The court, in its verdict directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to issue disqualification notification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with immediate effect.

The landmark verdict was announced in Courtroom 1 of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The apex court also disqualified Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and MNA Captain (retd) Safdar, the husband of PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz.

It was also ordered to file reference against Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, and Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar.

One judge would oversee the implementation of today’s order.

“He is disqualified as a member of the parliament so he has ceased to be holding the office of Prime Minister,” Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan announced in the packed courtroom.

Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf told Geo News PM Sharif was disqualified from holding public office for life–meaning he will not be able to contest elections again.

He said there is no law to file any appeal against this judgment

A three-member special implementation bench on the Panama verdict, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsen on July 21, had reserved the judgment with the ruling to look into the matter of disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying that fundamental rights of both the petitioners and respondents would be fully protected.

Hearing the Panama Papers case since January year, the five-judge Supreme Court bench delivered its much-anticipated order in the case on April 20.

In a 3-2 split decision, the judgment on April 20.

In a 3-2 split decision, the majority judges determined that the available evidence was insufficient to disqualify the prime minister outright and directed for the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the case and collect evidence, if any, showing that Nawaz Sharif or any of his dependents or benamidar owns, possesses or acquired assets or any interest therein disproportionate to their known means of income.

Two judges — Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed — had recommended disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The court had directed Nawaz Sharif, his sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, respondents No 1, 7 and 8 to appear and associate themselves with the JIT as and when required.