NA deputy speaker’s ruling violation of Article 95, observes CJP

Remarks deputy speaker based his ruling on allegations, not findings: Says SC will intervene whenever constitution is violated: Adjourns hearing until Thursday morning: SC rejects PTI counsel’s plea for in-camera hearing: Imran Khan asks people to come out to defend democracy

By: News Desk
Published: 11:55 AM, 6 Apr, 2022
NA deputy speaker’s ruling violation of Article 95, observes CJP
Caption: File photo.
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“Admitted that Article 69 of the constitution exists, but what happened in the parliament on April 3 is unprecedented,” the CJP said, adding, “If such incidents were allowed to happen, it will have devastating consequences,” reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Justice Bandial remarked that the case was that of the violation of Article 95. “And where there is a violation of the constitution, the Supreme Court can intervene,” he stated categorically.

The chief justice said that the Supreme Court respected the sanctity of the parliament.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked whether the violation of the constitution also enjoyed immunity from the court proceedings.

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel asked Babar Awan whether he meant to say that the speaker’s ruling was over and above the majority opinion of the parliament.

Later, apologizing to the parties concerned, CJP Bandial adjourned the case’s hearing until tomorrow (Thursday, April 7, 2022). “Tomorrow, we will resume hearing of the case early in the morning,” he concluded.

Earlier, Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that prima facie there were ‘no findings’ in National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri’s ruling as there were only allegations on which basis he announced his decision of rejecting the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. 

Justice Bandial also said that they wanted to finish the case today as the Supreme Court on Wednesday resumed hearing into its suo motu notice regarding National Assembly deputy speaker’s rulingl.

The CJP while listing his queries asked Babar Awan, counsel for the ruling PTI, to defend the ruling, but in the light of the constitution. 

The top judge remarked did the deputy speaker have the authority to give a ruling by ignoring the agenda and also without consulting the members. Could the speaker pronounce a ruling setting aside the constitutional process, the CJP asked.

Justice Bandial went on to ask what was the material on the basis of which Qasim Suri gave the ruling, and did he do so without bringing forth the facts? 

Justice Bandial also made it clear that before pronouncing verdict in the case, the court wanted to know what was the ‘conspiracy’ which prompted the deputy speaker to give the ruling. 

He also sought from Awan the minutes of the the National Security Committee (NSC) and Parliament’s Security Committee meetings.   

The CJP regretted that the court was being criticized for not finishing the case hearing on time. “How on earth can we decide the case without listening to the government’s point of view?” he questioned. 

When PML-N’s lawyer pointed out to the court that situation in Punjab was not good either as voting for the election of provincial chief minister was being delayed, the CJP replied that the court would look into it in the end. 

Babar Awan, counsel for the ruling PTI, said that he had always been supportive of the apex court’s suo moto power.

The PTI’s counsel argued that the case under review was not that of basic human rights, and it was incumbent upon each and every citizen to be loyal to the state. 

Awan said that lawyers representing the opposition parties had told the court that the deputy speaker’s ruling was unconstitutional and was given with a mala fide intent. 

“Objections were also raised to the application of article-5 on the opposition members of the National Assembly (MNAs),” PTI’s lawyer said, adding although they all prayed to the court to interpret articles 95 and 69 of the constitution, but none uttered a word on the interpretation of article 63-A.  

He told the court that the opposition parties wanted that the reference to the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting in the deputy speaker’s ruling be overlooked, and the court immediately issued a short order in the case. 

Babar Awan went on to say that the constitution of Pakistan was different from other constitutions of the world since it was based on the Islamic ideology, which became the basis of two-nation theory, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan. 

He made it clear that the speaker and the deputy speaker of the National Assembly could not remain silent when it came to a ‘conspiracy by a foreign power’.  

PTI’s counsel asked whether horse trading done by the opposition parties in Islamabad’s Sindh House and at Lahore’s Avari Towers could be overlooked.  

Awan requested the court to give him an in-camera hearing, which the latter refused.  

President’s lawyer questions court’s jurisdiction

Advocate Ali Zafar, who is representing President Arif Alvi in the Supreme Court, raised objections over the court’s jurisdiction behind taking up the opposition’s case.

Ali Zafar said approaching the top court against a ruling of the National Assembly deputy speaker is interference in the parliament’s affairs and issuing any direction in this regard would be overstepping by the court.

PM's tweet

In a tweet on the eve of the court hearing on Wednesday, Prime Minister asked people to come out in force to defend the democracy. “The people are always the strongest defenders of a country's sovereignty and democracy. It is the people who must come out and defend against this latest and biggest assault on Pakistan's sovereignty and democracy by a foreign power thru local collaborators -- our Mir Jafars & Mir Sadiqs.”

Talking to newsmen outside the court building on Wednesday, PTI's lawyer Babar Awan said that the rival lawyers took three days to present their case to the court, they will use far less time.

He further said the court ruling on the interpretation of Article 63 was yet to come to ensure people that there should be rule of law.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the court summoned minutes of March 31 and April 3 government meetings and also the order of the deputy speaker rejecting the no-confidence motion.

Reporters Amanat Gishkori and Waqas Azeem