CJP remarks disqualification under Article 63 is for 3-5 years

Justice Ijaz says dissidents can be disqualified if it’s proved that loyalty has been changed due to monetary gains: SC takes exception to PM’s speech wondering if he could be stopped from making irresponsible remarks against judiciary: Justice Mandokhel remarks we have to see whether to save party or govt

By: News Desk
Published: 03:00 PM, 28 Mar, 2022
CJP remarks disqualification under Article 63 is for 3-5 years
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Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial has remarked that dissidents have to face the consequences of going against the party policy as the disqualification under Article 63 is from 2-5 years, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJP Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel was hearing the presidential reference that seeks interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution of Pakistan and Supreme Court Bar Association's (SCBA) plea against political rallies in the federal capital on Monday.

During the hearing, the apex court took exception to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in Kamalia in which he alleged that judges too were being made part of the conspiracy to topple his government. 

Justice Mandokhel expressed his disappointment saying the prime minister had no trust in judiciary. He wondered if the premier could be stopped from making such irresponsible statements. He said he heard PM Khan’s speech on social media. He said if PM had no confidence in judiciary how could his members repose confidence in judiciary. 

On this, Chief Justice Bandial remarked that political leaders should be aware that they could not discuss matters (cases) which were sub judice. 

However, the attorney general of Pakistan said that he did not hear speeches that’s why he would be unable to talk about it. He advised the court not to be swayed by the mere statements and speeches. He said the prime minister reposed full confidence in judiciary. 

At the outset of the hearing, the AGP told the court that along with Article 63 (A), Article 63 (1) F would be invoked against the dissident members. He argued that the dissident would be disqualified for life. 

On this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that diversion from party policy was a doubtful act. “If it has been proved that loyalty has been changed due to monetary gains then disqualification will take place,” he added. 

AGP Khalid Jawed Khan said that the question before the bench was: how the court could read something which had not been written in the constitution. He said he wanted to give the reference of the 2018 judgement of the Supreme Court. 

He said that the apex court demanded affidavit along with the nomination papers for the election, though the condition of affidavit was not there in the law and on the court’s orders, the affidavit was taken.

He further said that the court declared the nomination papers sans affidavits incomplete. 

Chief Justice Bandial remarked that in the court judgement, the sanctity and legitimacy of the elections were mentioned. 

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel asked AGP Jawed Khan how the court could link Article 63 with Article 62 (1) F, adding that whether the AGP reckoned that there was some kind of lacunae in Article 63 (A). 

The AGP asserted that the Article 63 (A) could not be read separately. “Those who get votes on party tickets, they are bound to follow the party policy. If somebody thinks he cannot go along the party policy, he can resign. But he cannot vote against the party policy. He should be disqualified for life if he goes against his party,” he added.  

Justice Mandokhel remarked if the party leader gave his declaration then let the Election Commission decide the case. The law is clear about it then what the government wants from the court, the judge asked. 

The AGP said that the party leader could not give declaration to the favorite persons. This is a political decision which the party leader has to take, he added. 

Chief Justice Bandial remarked that the main point was disqualification on which everybody wanted to hear the court’s ruling.

The AGP said that Article 63-A was silent about the period of disqualification. He said this article was inserted to save the system. He said no question was asked about the method in the reference. The only question is how long a person would remain disqualified and whether his vote would be counted. 

Justice Ijaz remarked that violation of Article 63-A could have a direct effect on the system keeping in view if 10-15 persons would become dissidents, then it would become a mockery of the system. The musical chair will go on when 15 dissidents after changing a government once again contest the elections, he said adding that the court wanted to be convinced on this point that after showing disloyalty (to the party), the system would not be threatened; and that disloyalty was a serious offense. 

CJP says if no-trust motion succeeds, PM and dissidents both will go home 

Chief Justice Bandial remarked if the no-confidence motion against the prime minister was succeeded, then both the dissidents and PM would go home. And if the members of ruling party tender their resignations, the government will lose majority in the parliament, the CJP said adding that in that case the premier would have to obtain the vote of confidence. 

The CJP wondered why the parliament added Article 63-A to the Constitution when it never mentioned the period of disqualification under this article. 

Justice Mandokhel remarked that democracy is of the people and for the people. But we have to see whether we have to save government or we have to save the party while keeping in view the country and its people’s benefit, he added. 

After this, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the reference till tomorrow while directing the AGP to complete his argument by tomorrow. 

Reporter Waqas Azeem