Ordinance on Senate polls won’t affect presidential reference case: CJP
The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on the presidential reference seeking court’s opinion on ‘open ballotting' in Senate polls and directed the Attorney General of Pakistan to resume the arguments on February 10, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed was hearing the case. The other members included Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said, “I am trying to understand the structure of the constitution and trying to find out why the procedure of other elections including of Prime Minister and Chief Ministers were kept secret under Article 226.”
Justice Bandial remarked, “The country has seen good politicians also. We should not weigh all politicians on one scale. The SC made a decision already that party loyalty is based on ideology.”
“We have the example of the 1985 general elections held on a non-partisan basis. Muhammad Khan Junejo formed the government and the money was used ruthlessly,” Justice Bandial further remarked.
Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan during his arguments named those who drafted the constitution including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Wali Khan, Mufti Mehmood and Nawabzada Nasrullah, then Attorney General Akbar Khan Bugti and Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked, “We cannot stop the government from issuing the ordinance. But still will look into the matter. The ordinance was issued on the basis of assumptions.”
The CJP remarked that presidential ordinance on Senate polls will not affect the ongoing case of presidential reference seeking the apex court's opinion. “Had the presidential ordinance not linked with the SC opinion, we would have nullified it," the CJP remarked.
The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan on the request of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam against the issuance of Election Amendment Ordinance 2021.
“The government issued the ordinance for the open voting,” ssid Kamran Murtaza, counsel for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. “But the ordinance was not challenged in the court,” Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said.
JUI's petition against the ordinance was accepted for a preliminary hearing, the TV channel reported.
“In the presidential ordinance, the government has already made up its mind and made it conditional on a court decision,” the JUI-F lawyer said.
“Strange circumstances were created with the issuance of the ordinance,” Senator Raza Rabbani said.
“If the opinion of the court is different from the government then what will happen to the ordinance,” PPP leader Raza Rabbani said.
“If the judicial opinion differs from the government's position, the ordinance will be tarnished, “Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked.
Senator Raza Rabbani said, “It was written in the ordinance that it will be promulgated immediately,” on which Justice Izaj-ul-Hassan commented that,” It was also written that the ordinance is linked with the opinion of the SC.”