Friday, 28 July 2017

Can Supreme Court of Pakistan Disqualify a Parliamentarian

The answer is yes. Because Supreme Court of Pakistan is the interpreter of all statutes including the constitution in Pakistan. Similarly the Supreme Court of Pakistan is the top most court of Pakistan. It has powers to hear appeals, references, revisions and it can take up any matter of public importance under the provisions of Article 184(3) of the constitution.

There is system of Bicameral Legislature in Pakistan. Parliament comprises of the Senate, National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies. There have been number of cases in which the Supreme Court of Pakistan has disqualified the parliamentarians in recent decades.

Originally the jurisdiction to disqualify a member of parliament rests with the Election Commission of Pakistan. However, if a parliamentarian is involved in any offense by virtue of which he does not qualify to be a member of parliament under the provisions of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution then Supreme Court can directly disqualify such member.

There is nothing binding on the Supreme Court of Pakistan while interpreting the constitution. An argument is that the Supreme Court of Pakistan is not a trial court and it cannot convict an accused. However, a counter argument to that can be that there is nothing written anywhere that Trial of accused is mandatory for convicting it, especially in cases of partial of complete confession.

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