SC to resume hearing on NA proceedings today

Supreme Court of Pakistan. Photo: SC website

Supreme Court of Pakistan. Photo: SC website
Supreme Court of Pakistan. Photo: SC website
  • CJP Umar Ata Bandial says apex court will announce decision after hearing all respondents. 
  • Says speaker can’t reject no-trust motion even if he refers to Article 5.
  • SC took suo motu notice of constitutional crisis that erupted after no-trust motion against PM Imran Khan was deemed “unconstitutional.”

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume hearing the case filed by the joint Opposition over the “unconstitutional” act of the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri by disallowing the vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial had taken a suo motu notice of the constitutional crisis that erupted after the incident. CJP Bandial maintained in a written judgment issued during Sunday’s hearing that his fellow judges had approached him and had expressed concern over the situation.

On Monday, the apex court heard the arguments by PPP’s counsel Farooq H Naek who contended that Suri’s ruling in Sunday’s session was meant to deliberately avoid the voting process in the Assembly.

Speaker can’t reject no-trust motion even if he refers to Article 5: CJP

During the hearing, CJP Bandial directed Naek to argue how the deputy speaker’s ruling is illegitimate.

The CJP asked how the speaker could give a ruling on whether the motion was legal or illegal. “Does the speaker have no authority to reject the no-confidence motion?” he asked.

Even if the speaker cites Article 5 of the Constitution, the no-confidence motion cannot be rejected,” the CJP said.

The CJP then asked to what extent does the speaker have constitutional protection under Article 69? “We want to make a decision sooner than you,” he said. 

Naek requested the court to wrap up the case and reserve the verdict.

However, the CJP remarked that the court has to hear other respondents as well. After this, the court adjourned the hearing till 12pm today.

SC takes suo motu notice

“Any orders and actions that Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly shall be subject to the order of this court,” CJP Bandial had said taking the notice on Sunday.

Earlier, the SC restrained state institutions from taking any extra-constitutional steps and directed them to act strictly in accordance with the Constitution, besides asking all political forces of the country to remain peaceful.

Opposition’s petition

The joint Opposition has also prepared a petition to cancel the ruling of the deputy speakers under which the National Assembly session was adjourned for an indefinite period as Suri cancelled the voting on the no-confidence motion, terming it “unconstitutional”.

According to the petition prepared by the joint Opposition, the speaker should be directed to convene the session today as “the deputy speaker cannot adjourn the session as it is unconstitutional.”

Furthermore, the Opposition has filed a petition against President Arif Alvi, PM Imran Khan, Speaker NA Asad Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri for violating the Constitution.

SCBA’s petition

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court on the constitutional crisis.

The constitutional petition filed by SCBA states that a voting of no-confidence motion was a must, and the speaker cannot cancel the voting by a ruling.

It was further noted that the deputy speaker’s ruling contradicts Article 95(2). It further said that according to Article 58(1) the premier cannot even “advise dissolution of the assembly,” once the no-confidence motion is filed against him/her.

Sources privy to the matter said that a special bench of the top court will hear the case.

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