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HomePAKISTANPresidential reference: SC declares violation of Article 63(1)(g) ‘serious offence’

Presidential reference: SC declares violation of Article 63(1)(g) ‘serious offence’

Supreme Court of Pakistan. Photo: file

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday declared the violation of Article 63(1)(g) of the constitution a serious offence.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court — headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Aijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel — had resumed the hearing of the presidential reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution of Pakistan today.

At the outset of today’s hearing, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel remarked that Article 63(1)(g) deals with the ideology of Pakistan, defamation of the Army and the judiciary, hence its violation comes under the ‘serious offence’.

During the course of proceedings, PTI’s counsel Babar Awan said: “Article 63(A) would be ridiculed if a lawmaker is de-seated under the article  then he becomes a minister after getting elected again.”

He contended that defection from one’s party is a serious crime.

At this, Justice Mandokhel remarked that in his view violating Article 63(1)(g) is a serious crime. Awan said that even a defaulter of utility bills is ineligible for a National Assembly seat.

Justice Ahsan remarked that non-payment of utility bills cannot make a candidate ineligible for life which means they would be ineligible till the clearance of bills.

“The lawmakers would be disqualified for life if Article 63(A) doesn’t define the duration of disqualification,” argued Awan.

“The lawmakers would stay disqualified until the Supreme Court (SC) cancels the disqualification,” said Justice Ahsan. The lifetime disqualification can be awarded only under Article 62(F)1, he noted.

Meanwhile, the top court adjourned the hearing till 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday).

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