ISLAMABAD: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s fiery speeches purportedly against Supreme Court judges have worried the wrong set of lawyers – the PML-N’s own legal wizards.
“I don’t think it is prudent to target judges right before challenging the SC’s July 28 verdict,” a senior PML-N lawyer, who was part of Sharif’s cabinet,
Sources revealed that a draft of the review petition against the July 28 verdict disqualifying Sharif from holding any public office has already been prepared, but the legal team is holding off on filing it.
A senior PML-N leader said that with the prevailing political situation in mind, it is a safe bet that the judgment will be challenged next week. He admitted that now is not appropriate time to file a review as on the one hand, the judges are targets of the former premier’s criticism, and on the other hand, he would be requesting them [judges] to reverse their ruling.
He revealed that the legal eagles are also pondering the option of filing an appeal along with the review petition as the latter has very limited scope to reverse the judgment.
Some legal experts, however, said there is no legal provision to file an appeal against the SC’s Panamagate verdict, which was delivered under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.
Some senior party leaders and those familiar with the law books were miffed by Sharif’s aggressive speeches during his addresses in the ongoing GT Road rally.
They believe that the government’s policy of leaking information against the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the apex court, such as the purported WhatsApp call by the SC registrar, has already damaged the Sharif family’s case.
Relations between the PML-N government and the Supreme Court have been tense since the six-member JIT which probed into the Sharif family’s murky business dealings abroad began calling them in.
Judges were visibly upset by the government’s media campaign targeting the judiciary and the JIT. Their annoyance could also be gauged by their remarks during the recent hearings of the implementation bench on the Panama Papers case. Even the three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, had pointed out that eight people were targeting the Supreme Court and JIT on the media.
However, PML-N Lawyers Forum chief Sadique Awan, while defending Sharif’s speeches, said the SC judgment is a public property and everyone can criticise it. “I believe the July 28 verdict is a stigma on the judiciary and is being condemned by every segment of society,” he added.