Asif demands full court to hear suo moto starting from Panama case


Criticizes judiciary for ‘trespassing’ into parliament’s jurisdiction

Ijaz Kakakhel

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday criticized the judiciary for “trespassing” into the parliament’s jurisdiction by “rewriting” Article 63-A of the Constitution, as he demanded a full court bench to hear the suo-motu notice regarding the announcement of election date and review cases starting from the Panama case in which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified.

In a fiery speech on the floor of the National Assembly, the PML-N leader said that the nine-member SC bench was hearing election date case but the matter is of utmost importance and the full court must consider it. The minister said: “Why not examine if the assemblies’ dissolution was right or wrong? Or go back to when Article 63-A was rewritten? The top judiciary transgressed and rewrote the Constitution even though it is not their job.” The remarks come at a time when the Supreme Court has constituted a nine-member bench for a suo motu notice aiming to resolve the issue of when elections in Punjab and KP would be held. “I do not want to give the impression that parliamentarians are trespassing in the jurisdiction of the judiciary but I, as a political worker, demand to resolve this complicated situation which is being faced by the country during the last 7-8 months,” he added. “We have always stood for the independence of the judiciary and we want to run the country in accordance with the law and constitution.”

During his address today, terming himself a “respondent” affected by the judiciary’s decisions, Asif said: “I would say with immense respect that this matter should have been raised by a full court instead of a nine-member bench. The entire Supreme Court should find the solution to this issue.” He added: “I do not want to criticize if there are some in the bench whose characters have a question mark on them, but if the entire court sits for the matter, I think there can be redressal for the things that have happened in the past eight months.