Set to decide on deputy speaker’s ruling today, Supreme Court of Pakistan adjourns hearing till tomorrow

Supreme court of Pakistan in Islamabad

The Supreme Court adjourned on Monday its hearing on the legality of the current situation in the country following the dismissal of a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan by National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and the subsequent dissolution of the NA by President Arif Alvi on the prime minister’s advice till 12pm on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial had earlier in the day said the court would issue a “reasonable order” on the issue today.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial

His remarks had come as a larger bench of the Supreme Court – comprising the CJP, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail — took up the matter.

During the proceedings, Justice Ahsan noted that there were violations in the proceedings of the no-trust resolution.

Justice Bandial observed that a debate before voting on the no-confidence motion had been clearly mentioned in the law but didn’t take place.

Meanwhile, Justice Akhtar questioned the deputy speaker’s constitutional authority to pass such a ruling.

“I don’t think the deputy speaker had the authority to pass such a ruling,” Justice Akhtar said, adding that only the speaker could do so.

In my opinion, he said, only the speaker had the authority to pass such the ruling. “The deputy speaker chairs the session on the non-availability of the speaker,” the judge said.

During his arguments, Naek contended that the ‘threat letter’ on the basis of which the ruling was passed was never shown in parliament.

Here, the CJP observed that the deputy speaker’s ruling mentioned the meeting of the parliamentary committee for security. “The opposition deliberately didn’t attend the meeting,” he said, adding that the matter of the letter was put forth there.

“This needs to be answered by all political parties,” the CJP said, adding that the parliamentary committee meeting was important.

Read further in Dawn

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Categories: The Muslim Times

1 reply

  1. Pakistan’s top court has begun hearing arguments on the legality of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to call a general election after his party blocked a no-confidence vote and he dissolved parliament to prevent an opposition attempt to oust him.

    The former cricket star lost his majority in parliament last week as his opponents built their support in advance of the vote of no confidence that had been due on Sunday.

    But the deputy speaker of parliament, a member of Khan’s party, threw out the no-confidence motion that Khan had widely been expected to lose, ruling it was part of a foreign conspiracy and unconstitutional.

    The move throws the country, which the military has ruled for almost half its history, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

    Whatever the court decides, Pakistan looks to be heading for fresh elections before the completion of the current term of the parliament and the prime minister in 2023.

    If Khan prevails, polls will happen within 90 days. The opposition also wants early elections, albeit after delivering a political defeat to Khan by ousting him through a parliamentary vote.

    Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif called the blocking of the vote “nothing short of high treason”.

    “The nation is stunned,” the Dawn newspaper said in an editorial. “Even as political pundits and the media confidently predicted Mr Imran Khan’s defeat in the vote of no confidence, he seemed unperturbed. No one could have guessed that his last ploy would involve having the democratic order burnt down.”

    Khan also dissolved the cabinet and wants a general election within 90 days, though that decision officially rests with the president and the election commission, and depends on the outcome of the court hearing.

    The largely ceremonial head of state, President Arif Alvi, said in a statement that Khan would stay on as prime minister in an interim role until a caretaker prime minister was appointed under whom a general election would be held.

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