SC set to define ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’

The Supreme Court says it will define the terms ‘Sadiq and Ameen’ in Article 62 and 63 for candidates contesting in all future elections.
During the hearing of Prime minister’s disqualification case, the two judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, on Thursday observed that the bench would define the terms ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ without keeping in view the consequences of the decision.
The bench said that they are not concerned whether their ruling would render one member or half of the assembly disqualified.
Justice Khawaja said that their ruling will be set as a precedent for upcoming general elections and Local Government (LG) elections, as the issue of Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ is expected to be raised again in LG polls.
If the issue remains unresolved and the apex court fails to set the standard of ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’, then an opponent of every contesting candidate could raise allegations of being a ‘liar’ against them and it would be difficult to find a person who truly fulfills the requirement of both these terms.
On the other hand, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt told the bench that interpreting ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’ has already been sub-judicated before a larger bench.
Referring to the Article 66 of the Constitution, which states that the parliament’s proceedings cannot be challenged in any court of law, AGP said the court should examine whether the high court has the jurisdiction to question the proceeding of parliament in the presence of Article 66 of the constitution.
The bench, however, told him that the petitioner’s stance is that whether Article 62 and 63 overrule Article 66.
Justice Khawaja further observed that the court has the authority to adjudicate on ’political questions’ but it shows restraint in giving rulings on political issues. He also told the AGP that it should be examined which forum will decide the disqualification issue after the passage of 18th amendment.
The court further sought a concise statement from Butt within a week over the maintainability of the petitions seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in view of Article 62(f) of the Constitution.
The court has also directed all three petitioners, Pakistan Muslim League –Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujat Hussain, Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) core committee member Ishaq Khan Khakwani and Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF) Punjab Senior Vice President Gohar Nawaz Sindhu, to give written statements whether they have filed the petition for PM’s disqualification in their individual capacity or are they merely representing their respective parties in the petitions.
The petitioners have claimed that the premier had first asked the Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to act as a ‘mediator’ between the government and the protesting parties PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), and to serve as a ‘guarantor’ to any agreement between the parties concerned.
They alleged that the premier later lied on the floor of the Parliament and denied making any such request.
Justice Khawaja’s recusal
Meanwhile, commenting over PTI leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani’s plea which seeks Justice Khawaja’s recusal from the PM disqualification case, Justice Khawaja said that some people believe that he seems unfit to hear this case. While on the other hand, some people are expressing their full confidence in same case, he added.
Justice Khawaja made it clear that the judges themselves would decide that whether they are ‘fit’ to hear this case or not.
Replying to the bench’s query, whether he has moved the petition in his individual capacity or on behalf of PTI, Sindhu stated that though he moved plea in his individual capacity, but he has implied consent from his party as well.
Irfan Qadir, the counsel for Khakwani, however, rejected Sindhu’s stance that he has implied consent from the party. Claiming that his client is representing the PTI and Sindhu does not have the implied consent from the party, Qadri requested the bench to pass a written order to file statements whether the petitioners are representing their parties in this case or not.
The hearing of case was then adjourned for an indefinite period.