Supreme Court pleaded to send presidential reference back

PML-N lawyer argues question raised in reference is political, not constitutional: CJP remarks deviating from party discipline is unconstitutional

By: News Desk
Published: 03:15 PM, 30 Mar, 2022
Supreme Court pleaded to send presidential reference back
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Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial has remarked that it has clearly been mentioned in Article 63-A that violating party discipline is unconstitutional, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The CJP uttered these remarks during the hearing of presidential reference that seeks interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution of Pakistan on Wednesday. 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 reference. 

Chief Justice Bandial observed that deviating from party discipline was constitutional. “But the party can pardon those who give vote against party line. If the system becomes weak then (parties) have to resort to the Supreme Court to save the constitution,” the justice observed. 

Justice Ijazul Ahsan wondered if violating the party discipline was so grave that it warranted the lifelong disqualification. 

In today’s hearing, PML-N lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan started giving his arguments. 

Justice Mandokhel inquired if the president could seek opinion on the assembly proceedings and whether the assembly was bound to follow the court opinion. He further asked whether the president sent his reference on the advice of National Assembly speaker as the speaker is the custodian of the house. 

On this, Makhdoom Ali Khan said that these questions could only be answered by the attorney general of Pakistan. He said he would build his arguments regarding the non-maintainability of the reference. 

He argued that the court was not legally bound to hear the presidential reference. It could only be heard out of respect for presidential office. He said the reference should be sent back as the question raised in the reference was not constitutional rather it was political. 

The PML-N lawyer said that the government wanted bigger relief than the consequences of desertion as had already been mentioned in Article 63-A. He said that the court was being emotionally blackmailed by using the words of Amanat (trust) and Khianat (breach of trust). 

The answer to stop horse-trading is not an opinion, it will tantamount to legislation, the lawyer added.  

CJP says court will pursue Sindh House attack case 

During the hearing, Chief Justice Bandial asked about the progress on the Sindh House attack case. 

Islamabad advocate general told the court that one accused Tauseef was arrested while police were trying to apprehend others.

Sindh advocate general said that those who were nominated by them, Islamabad police were not arresting them. He said the names of those who incited others to launch an assault on Sindh House were not included in the FIR. 

On this, the CJP remarked that there was a legal forum available and he should consult it.

Chief Justice Bandial said it was not possible that the Sindh House attack would not be pursued. He directed the police to submit a report about the arrest of the accused till Monday. 

Reporter Imanat Gishkori