Pakistan’s Chief Justice (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial said on Monday the Supreme Court had issued a statement to suo motu of a parliamentary dispute last month after negotiations between 12 SC judges, all of which agreed to be a “constitutional matter”.
On April 3, following the dismissal of Deputy Speaker of Parliament Qasim Suri on a motion of no confidence in former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the dissolution of the Legislature, Justice Bandial took the matter into consideration. He also made it clear that all orders and actions initiated by the prime minister and the president regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly would be subject to an order of the court, which ultimately opposed the previous government and reinstated the assembly.
The Supreme Court announcement was criticized by PTI lawmakers, with Fawad Chaudhry calling it “unfortunate”.
The Chief Justice, however, is standing today if the notice is appropriate. “Everyone believed it to be a constitutional issue so it should be noted.
Justice Bandial made the remarks during a presidential hearing seeking a high court opinion on Article 63-A of the Constitution, which deals with the prohibition of members of the judiciary on account of sedition.
The five-member bench, chaired by the chief justice, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, presided over the referendum.
He further added that the announcement of the suo motu was taken at the discretion of the bench and not at the whims of anyone.
Read: History of Supreme Court intervention in constitutional issues
At the start of the trial today, the chief justice stated that it was the duty of the court to defend the Constitution, adding that the interpretation of Article 63-A was essential to parliamentary democracy.
Justice Bandial said the legal questions related to the Article were valid even after the referendum was filed against the PTI opposition representatives in the Pakistan Electoral Commission (ECP).
Justice Ahsan has noted that all parties to the dispute will have to respect the court’s decision.
The PML-N had filed a petition earlier, asking the court to adjourn the case until May 17 because the party’s adviser, Makhdoom Ali Khan, would leave the country until then.
During the trial today, the chief justice ordered that Khan be ordered to return to the country as soon as possible.
The judge wants the respect of the court
Meanwhile, PTI lawyer Babar Awan said he wanted to assist the high court in the case, saying he “had great respect” for the court.
Justice Mandokhail noted that the same respect should be extended to the community. Tell people that the court also opens at night. The Balochistan Supreme Court also opened at 2:30 p.m.
Awan responded that (respect for the general public) is the responsibility of the information department, which states that Articles 62 and 63 should be read together.
Following his dismissal, PTI Chairman Imran, at a meeting on April 13, asked the court to explain why he saw the need to open its doors at midnight on April 12, hours before a vote of no confidence was cast.
The IHC has stated that “as a constitutional court, it ensures that urgently related cases are filed at any time after the specified period.”
The high court’s decision to resume court duties at an unusual time came after an application was filed to ask the court to prevent Imran from ceasing to recognize General Qamar Javed Bajwa as head of the military staff. The government at the time denied any such plans.
‘Court must look at constitutional principles’
The court had to interpret the article for future generations, the CJP said.
He noted that while the MNA seat may be vacant under Article 63 both (relating to disqualification due to dissent) and Article 64 (relating to resignation) they are not the same.
The court had to establish the purpose of the Articles, he noted, adding that it should look at constitutional principles rather than individual actions.
The Supreme Court did not care about the 25 PTI representatives, Justice Bandial said.
He asked Awan why his (PTI) supporter had not filed a petition that the party was concerned about the non-implementation of a high court opinion on Senate elections. “There is a difference between a court and a governing body.
The court made a decision after the incident happened whether it was right or wrong, see.
Justice Bandial noted that the panel had “succeeded” in fulfilling its responsibility in the Reko Diq case.
He also said that if anyone wants to bring a matter to court they should apply.
Awan responded that he was not his supporter but the ECP “fails” if the SC opinion on the Senate election was not implemented.
The Chief Justice then asked Awan to show any application filed by the PTI.
Awan said President Dr. Arif Alvi was silent even after the Lahore High Court (LHC) “took humorous action” against him.
He was referring to remarks made by one LHC bench – which was later suspended – in the context of Hamza Shehbaz’s oath of office as Punjab’s prime minister.
In his order, Judge Jawad Hassan stated: “Both the decisions of this court, despite their obligations, have been deliberately ignored by the President of Pakistan and the Governor of the Punjab. to make an oath before him.
Later, a high court tribunal suspended the hearing while hearing an internal court appeal filed by the PTI.
During the SC hearings today, Chief Justice Bandial asked Awan to file an application if the consideration of the president was incorrect.
During this time, the court also issued a notice to respondents to an appeal filed by Imran seeking to be barred from voting in the by-elections.
The petition was named after the ECP, the NA spokesperson, the Federation of Pakistan through the cabinet secretary, and the secretary of the law and justice department as respondents.
The incumbent government has been considering canceling the presidential referendum and is waiting for a new lawyer, MQM-P’s lawyer, Azhar Siddique.
Justice Bandial responded that he hoped the federal government would allow the interpretation of the article to be completed.
Earlier, SC’s opinion about a referendum on the Senate-related presidential election was not met, Siddique argued, adding that he had repeatedly written to the ECP on the issue.
“Political parties are reluctant to implement decisions regarding presidential references,” said an MQM-P adviser.
Justice Ahsan has noted that the court’s decision to close the Hasba bill proposing the appointment of an ombudsman to enforce the “Islamic code of conduct” taken from the presidential referendum has already been implemented.
Everyone should use the decision in a presidential referendum, he added.
The presiding judge noted that the court did not receive any application in connection with the execution of the decision, adding that the appropriate judgment would be announced upon receipt.
Then, the case was dismissed the next day.
Prior to his dismissal, the PTI government filed a presidential referendum on the interpretation of Article 63-A, asking the high court about the “legal status of the party members’ vote when they were actively involved in the horse trade and changing their allegiance.
In a statement, President Dr. Arif Alvi also asked the high court if a member with “unconstitutional action and insurgency” could claim the right to have his or her vote counted and given equal weight or if there was a constitutional barrier to excluding those “polluted” votes.
He also asked the court to clarify whether a member of parliament, who had been declared a heretic, could be allowed to live for the rest of his life. Alvi warned that unless horse trade was abolished, “true democracy would always be a dream come true.”
“As a result of the poor interpretation of Article 63-A involving long-term disqualification, such members begin to enrich themselves and return to remain available to the highest bidder in the next round of cancer progression.”
The referendum was held at a time when the opposition party was vying for the support of several PTI representatives before the vote in a vote of no confidence in former Prime Minister Imran Khan. In the end, the votes of the opposition members were not required for the removal of Imran, as the opposition party was able to mobilize support from government-affiliated political parties.
However, the role of the opposition legislators was crucial in the election of opposition candidate Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab’s prime minister who won 197 votes, including 24 PTI rebels.
In terms of Article 63-A of the Constitution, parliament may be barred on the grounds of treason if “a vote or refusal to vote in the House against any directive issued by a parliamentary party, in relation to an election of Parliament; the prime minister or prime minister; the draft Constitution (amendment).
The article states that the head of the group must declare in writing that the MNA is involved but before issuing the declaration, the party head will “give such a member an opportunity to show why such a declaration cannot be made against him”.
After giving the member the opportunity to state their reasons, the party leader will forward the notice to the speaker, who will forward it to the Chief Electoral Commissioner (CEC). The CEC will have 30 days to verify the declaration. If approved by the CEC, a member “shall cease to be a member of the House and his or her seat shall be vacant”.