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ISLAMABAD: A section of legal fraternity raised eyebrows at the Supreme Court’s order to set aside the ruling of the National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Qasim Suri, restored the National Assembly to its position of 3rd April, and held the prime minister’s advice to the president to dissolve the assembly contrary to the Constitution and of no legal effect.

A former law officer, on condition of anonymity, said: “It (the SC’s order) is a loss for the Constitution, democracy, government, opposition, parliament, and the wretched people of Pakistan. Victory for the unelected and extra-constitutionalists.”

The ex-AAG said the apex court was right to declare the violation of the Constitution but it could not issue directions to the NA to regulate its procedure, proceedings, and conduct of business. He said 150 plus-member PTI is in the opposition, while 80 plus PML-N is heading the government. The SC should have gone for the elections.

Senior lawyer Azhar Siddique said the Supreme Court could not go beyond the time-frame given in Article 95 of the Constitution, “that a resolution shall not be voted upon before the expiration of three days, or later than seven days, from the day on which such resolution is moved in the National Assembly.” “It is not the job of the apex court to micro manage the issues,” he added.

Siddique maintained that the deputy speaker’s ruling was meant for the enforcement of Article 5. He further said that the Court despite, its open court announcement/directions, has erred by not rendering any decision in the Presidential Reference filed under Article 186 of the Constitution, which was being heard along with the captioned cases and is of paramount importance.

Siddique stated that in the absence of the determination in the stated Presidential Reference the impugned order has prejudiced the proceedings of the Presidential Reference and has blemished the entire proceedings directed to be held on 09-04-22 without any determination therein.

He said the Court vide impugned order has given a time table to proceed in the National Assembly which amounts to interfering in the affairs of the National Assembly barred by Article 69 of the Constitution. The Court gave directions to the Speaker to act in a manner decided/dictated by the bench, thus, violative of the Constitution.

Siddique said the Parliament as well as the members/officers thereof, the president as well prime minister are not answerable in exercise of their discretionary powers and functions before any Court, nor their discharge of the constitutional obligations can be called into question before any court under the Constitution. The entire jurisdiction exercised by the Bench is in violation of Article 175 of the Constitution.

He said that the proceedings of the Parliament are sovereign, independent and are not amenable to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or any other Court. The impugned order is in complete violation of the law laid down through all the prior judgments on the subject as referred during the hearing of the case.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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