ISLAMABAD: The counsel for Senator Yousaf Raza Gilani, on Tuesday, concluded his arguments before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in his Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) challenging the rejections of seven votes in the Senate chairman election.

A division bench of Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri heard the ICA filed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and Senator Yousaf Raza Gilani against the IHC decision, wherein, it had turned down the PPP leader’s petition challenging the result of the elections for the chairman Senate.

During the hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan appeared before the court on behalf of the Federation, while Farooq H Naek represented the PPP senator.

In his arguments, Gilani’s lawyer mentioned judgments of the courts of Bangladesh and London besides the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and submitted their copies in the court.

He adopted before the court that the presiding officer’s decision in the Senate elections could be challenged in court because the president of Pakistan had appointed Muzafar Hussain Shah to preside only first session of the Senate polls.

He added that only the chairman Senate was authorised to give ruling in the Upper House instead of the presiding officer.

The counsel argued that the single-member bench had rejected their case on the ground that the matter is related to parliamentary proceedings and that it was an internal subject of the Upper House of the Parliament.

He continued that the decision also stated that there was an alternative forum for the petitioner but without pointing out the same.

He further said that his client was a candidate for the post of Senate chairman, and claimed that the secretary Senate briefed the senators that a stamp in the box on ballot paper containing the name of candidate would be considered correct.

Naek said that the parliamentary proceedings had immunity under Article 69 of the Constitution but how it could be called a procedure, when a particular voting method had not been mentioned in the rules.

Gilani’s counsel contended that the presiding officer belonged to the PPP’s opponent party and the rejection of seven votes by him was unlawful.

Later, the court deferred the hearing till June 10 for further proceedings and arguments of the other party.

Gilani, in his appeal, prayed before the court that the single bench of the IHC did not take into account complete facts during the proceedings of the case.

He added that illegal activities can be interpreted by the courts, whereas, it was the job of the court to provide compensation for illegality and in such cases the court has to check the intention of the voter.

Gilani contended, “The learned judge erred in failing to appreciate that the presiding officer at that particular time was not conducting the proceedings in the House, he was a nominated officer of the president for the sole purpose of conducting the election to the office of chairman Senate.”

He argued, “The proceedings of the house envisaged in the Constitution are proceedings comprising of legislative and deliberative functions of either House of the Parliament and not to executive functions which the presiding officer at that time was performing.”

The petitioner maintained that the court is requested to accept the intra-court appeal and single-bench decision be rejected.

Earlier, a single bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah had rejected his petition by declaring the same non-maintainable after hearing the arguments.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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