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Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and senior politician Jahangir Khan Tareen, former ally and now an arch rival of Imran Khan, may stage a comeback in the upcoming general elections as a new law has been passed by Pakistan’s Parliament and notified by President Dr Arif Alvi paving the way for their smooth return to the House.

On the basis of this legislation, they can now file a review appeal challenging their lifetime disqualifications by the apex court.

Attorney General of Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan on Monday during a hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) petition for revisiting of the apex court’s April 4 order of holding polls for Punjab Assembly drew the attention of the Supreme Court’s bench towards the fact that the law pertaining to review of SC judgments had come into effect.

Review of Judgment & Order Bill 2023

A copy of the notification signed by President Alvi was also submitted to the three-member Supreme Court bench that is headed by Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar. It carries the signature and note of the president, “The Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Bill, 2023 is assented to, as advised by the prime minister.”

Before the president’s assent, the law was formally passed by both the houses of the Parliament, the National Assembly and Senate earlier this month.

Fundamental rights to justice guaranteed

It states: “It is necessary to ensure the fundamental right to justice by providing for a ‘meaningful review’ of the apex court’s judgments and orders in the exercise of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction, as described in Article 184 of the Constitution.”

Soon after the Attorney General presented a copy of the notification, the top court adjourned the ECP’s hearing for an indefinite period.

We will discuss the new law during the hearing on Thursday (June 1), the Chief Justice remarked before adjourning the case.

‘Biased judgments’

In July 2017, the top court headed by then Chief Justice Saqib Nisar disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister of the country in a case pertaining to the “Panama Papers” leaks and the alleged corruption during his previous two terms in office.

The court had not stopped there; it had moved one step further, stripping the former three-time Prime Minister from the powers to hold the office of the President of his political party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

One year later, in July 2018, the apex court disqualified Tareen for being “dishonest” and handed him also a lifetime disqualification. Both the leaders had cried foul over the ‘biased’ judgments of the Supreme Court and have vowed to get them overturned.