Article 63-A does not mention lifetime disqualification: SC

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that Article 63-A of the Constitution did not mention lifetime disqualification as it only referred to temporary disqualification (de-seating) in case of violation.

During the hearing on the presidential reference, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said defection was no ordinary political activity and added that the Constitution mentioned the tenure of an assembly, not of lawmakers.

According to the AGP, lawmakers’ membership ends in case of the dissolution of the assembly.

He said the purpose of Article 63-A will be fulfilled with lifetime disqualification and the law would not serve its purpose by de-seating lawmakers till the completion of the assembly’s tenure. The government’s lawyer said that in case of a declaration, Article 62(1)(f) will be applied to the dissenting lawmaker.

At this, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail asked whether disagreement meant dissent as per the AGP, to which Khan replied in the negative. Justice Mandokhail said Article 63-A referred to de-seating, not disqualification. He added that there was no need for further discussion when there was no mention of disqualification

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said Article 63-A would not need evidence as defection was not a mistake but a deliberate action and further added that the court will have to do a lot of manoeuvring to determine lifetime disqualification.

 

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