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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court dismissed the review petitions of ex-prime minister Imran Khan and former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and deputy speaker Qasim Suri requesting to set aside SC’s order dated 07-04-2022.

A five-judge bench, headed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Athar Minallah, on Monday, heard the review petitions of former prime minister Imran Khan, ex-speaker National Assembly Qaiser, and President of Pakistan Arif Alvi regarding rejection of the motion of no-confidence against the then prime minister.

A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by ex-CJP Umar Ata Bandial, on 7th April 2022 had set aside the ruling of the National Assembly deputy speaker Suri, restored the National Assembly to its position of 3rd April, and held Prime Minister (Imran)’s advice to President Alvi to dissolve the Assembly saying it was contrary to the Constitution and of no legal effect.

The speaker was asked to summon and hold a sitting of the Assembly in the present session, and shall do so immediately and in any case not later than 10:30 am on Saturday 09.04.2022, to conduct the business of the House as per the Orders of the Day that had been issued for 03.04.2022. The Speaker shall not, in exercise of his powers under clause (3) Article 54 of the Constitution, prorogue the Assembly and bring the Session to an end.

Speaker NA Qaiser on 28-03-22 had granted leave to move the resolution on and the voting on it was held on 03-04-22, but the deputy speaker rejected the resolution on no-confidence vote against the PM Imran Khan.

The petitioners have contended that the SC five-member bench could not have per force direct discharge of constitutional obligations, by holders of constitutional posts, who enjoy constitutional protection in the exercise of such powers and functions nor could the same be called into question by or before any court and the impugned judgment has resulted in judicial overreach.

The five-member bench has overlooked the mandatory provisions of Article 69(1) and in particular, Article 69(2) of the Constitution and the impugned short Order/judgment amounts to taking over, dictating, interfering and regulating the internal proceedings of Parliament.

The bench has violated the bar contained in Article 69 of the Constitution by issuing directions through the impugned judgment and interfered in the internal proceedings and the same tantamount to micro-managing the affairs of Parliament, which is unprecedented.

The five-member bench has erred to appreciate that within the proceedings of the House, the Parliament is sovereign, independent and not amenable to the jurisdiction of the superior Courts under the Constitution.

The bench has failed to appreciate that without the existence of a non obstante clause in Article 95, it does not and cannot have any superiority or preference over Articles 69(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The bench has failed to appreciate that a decision/ruling on a point of order (accepting or rejecting the same) by the Speaker/Deputy Speaker, is not at all justiciable before the Courts and interference by the Apex Court has seriously and adversely eroded the time honoured principle of trichotomy and the doctrine of separation of powers, through the impugned short order/judgment.

They submitted that no material irregularity was pointed and established before the five-member bench in the decision/ruling of the Deputy Speaker, confirmed by the Speaker, which was meant for the enforcement of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, and as to the legality and constitutionality of the resolution for a vote of no-confidence against the then prime minister.

The basis of the “speakers ruling,” backed by documentary evidence of “external interference” in national matters was not allowed to be made part of the suo moto proceedings, they added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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