The Supreme Court on Wednesday resumed hearing on the suo motu notice taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan Omar Ata Bandiyal over the events of April 3, when National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Shah Suri moved a no-confidence motion against the prime minister. did. Rejected. And President Dr. Alvi dissolved the NA on the advice of the Prime Minister.
A five-member bench headed by the CJP and headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail heard the matter later in the afternoon.
On Tuesday, the petitioner side – the joint opposition – concluded its arguments. Today the government’s lawyer Dr Babar Awan, Senator Ali Zafar and Imtiaz Siddiqui will present their side.
CJP Bandiyal during tomorrow’s hearing said That the Supreme Court would not interfere in matters of state and foreign policy and would only determine the validity of the decision of the Vice-President.
His remarks came after PML-N’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan suggested that the court hold “in-camera briefings from the intelligence chief about the foreign conspiracy”. Khan’s motion was moved in the backdrop of invocation of Article 5 by the deputy speaker who prorogued the House without voting on the no-confidence motion.
“Right now we are looking at the law and the Constitution,” the CJP had replied, asking all respondents to focus on the matter at the moment and subsequently seeking a record of the proceedings of the NA on the no-confidence motion.
Meanwhile, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani described the sudden prorogation and dissolution of the National Assembly as a “civil coup in the hybrid system” during his arguments. Thereafter, he had sought restoration of status quo before the NA session of April 3.
He argued that on more than one occasion, when the House was in session, it was shown that the Prime Minister had lost majority, adding that it was a matter of record that Imran Khan had said that he was given three options. Were. They were: facing a motion of no confidence, resigning or holding an early election.
Rabbani had also requested the top court to summon the text of the alleged “threatening” cable and the minutes of the meeting of the National Security Committee condemning it.
He said that independent proceedings should be initiated, which may also include the constitution of a judicial commission, to investigate the veracity of the allegations.
Makhdoom Ali Khan, representing Shahbaz Sharif, claimed that the deputy speaker’s April 3 decision was “apparently illegal and the most serious kind of constitutional violation” rather than a simple procedural lapse. That’s why he said that the Supreme Court has every right to intervene in this matter.
The counsel argued that if the court comes to the conclusion that the Deputy Speaker’s decision and subsequent prorogation of the Assembly was unconstitutional and illegal, all consequential action, including advising President Arif Alvi to dissolve the Assembly and continuing the Assembly . His nomination for appointment as the caretaker prime minister with the incumbent Imran Khan as the interim prime minister would be equally unconstitutional.
The Bar under Article 69, which protects the Speaker’s functions from being challenged in court, argued Shahbaz Sharif’s counsel, relating to procedural irregularities in parliamentary proceedings, adding that the apex court would invoke Article 54, which But the Speaker argued. related to power. To summon and prorogue the assembly session as a principle of pardon for procedural irregularities and not as a principle to legitimize constitutional wrongs.
Citing an example, the counsel argued that if a Prime Minister is left with no support in the House other than the Speaker, Article 95 will become ineffective if he (the Speaker) makes every effort to remove the Premier through a motion of no confidence. makes possible efforts. step stops.
The lawyer argued, “Anyone can be the purest human being, but if he does not have a majority in the House, he cannot remain prime minister.”
During the hearing, Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that if the counsel’s plea is accepted, it would open doors for the courts to open writs on minor illegalities of the House every other day, thereby reducing the power struggle. It is possible. Is this the intention of the Constitution, Justice Akhtar was surprised?
‘Suggesting former CJP as caretaker an attempt to influence SC’
In Tuesday’s hearing, the counsel for former Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif argued that Attendance register A former CJP’s call for the post of caretaker prime minister was “not only a blatant attempt to influence the court, but also smacks of malice and is in very bad taste”.
To this the CJP replied, ‘Yes, you are right.
Interim Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday nominated former CJP Gulzar Ahmed for the post of caretaker PM.
The nomination of the former CJP came after President Alvi wrote to the Prime Minister and Shahbaz to propose names of suitable persons for appointment as caretaker prime minister under Article 224-A(1) of the Constitution.
their rough notice
On Sunday, CJP Bandiyal had taken cognizance of the situation after the deputy speaker rejected the no-confidence motion against the premier, which included several petitions filed by various parties.
After a brief hearing, a written order was issued stating that the court “would like to examine whether such action (dismissing a motion of no confidence by virtue of Article 5) would result in expulsion (from the jurisdiction of the Court). expulsion) is enshrined in Article 69 of the Constitution.”
Article 69 of the Constitution essentially restricts the jurisdiction of the Court to exercise authority over any member or officer of Parliament in relation to the business of regulating parliamentary proceedings or the conduct of business.
“No officer or member of the Majlis-i-Shura (Parliament) in whom powers are vested by or under the Constitution for the conduct of process or business or for the maintenance of order in the Majlis-i-Shura, shall be subject to him jurisdiction of any court with respect to the exercise of those powers,” reads clause two of the article.
The court had ordered all state functionaries and officials as well as political parties to refrain from taking any advantage of the prevailing situation and strictly stay within the ambit of the Constitution.
No confidence motion rejected
The weeks-long political turmoil in the country reached its peak on April 3 after NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the much-awaited session of the lower house of Parliament without allowing a vote on a no-confidence motion against PM Imran.
In a shocking move, Suri, who was presiding over the session, dismissed the motion calling it against Article 5 of the Constitution.
At the start of the session, Fawad Chaudhry of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took the stage and cited the section, which reiterated the premier’s earlier claims that there was a foreign conspiracy behind the move to oust the government.
He said, “On March 7 our official ambassador was invited to a meeting which was attended by representatives of other countries. It was told in the meeting that a resolution is being brought against PM Imran. No-confidence move.
“We were told that relations with Pakistan were dependent on the success of the no-confidence motion. We were told that if the resolution failed, it would be a very difficult road for Pakistan. It is an operation for regime change by a foreign government. ,” he alleged.
The minister questioned how this could be allowed and called on the deputy speaker to decide the constitutionality of the no-confidence motion.
To that, Suri said the resolution moved on March 8 should be in accordance with the law and the Constitution. “No foreign power will be allowed to topple the elected government through conspiracy,” he said. He said the points raised by the minister were “valid”.
He rejected the proposal saying it was against the law, constitution and rules.
No. dissolution of
Within minutes of the NA meeting, PM Imran, in an address to the nation, said he had advised the President to “dissolve the assembly”.
He congratulated the country for rejecting the no-confidence motion and said the deputy speaker had “rejected an attempt to change the regime”. [and] foreign conspiracy”.
The premier further said that he had written to the President advising him to dissolve the legislatures, stating that the Democrats should go to the public and have elections so that the people can decide who they want in power.
“Prepare for elections. No corrupt force will decide what the future of the country will be. When the assembly is dissolved, the process of next elections and caretaker government will begin.
Thereafter, President Alvi dissolved the NA under Article 58 of the Constitution.
Later in the evening, the Cabinet Division issued a notification, declaring that Imran Khan had abolished the Prime Minister’s office with immediate effect. “Consequent to the dissolution of the National Assembly by the President of Pakistan, with reference to Article 58(1) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan… the office of Shri Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi has ceased to exist. . to exist.” Prime Minister of Pakistan, with immediate effect,” it read.
However, later, the President issued a notification allowing him to continue as Prime Minister:
“Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi will continue as Prime Minister until the appointment of Acting Prime Minister under Article 224A(4) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”