SC set to decide on deputy speaker’s ruling today

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Justice Ahsan notes violations in proceedings of no-trust resolution

 

The Supreme Court adjourned on Monday its hearing on the legality of the current situation in the country following the dismissal of a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan by National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and the subsequent dissolution of the NA by President Arif Alvi on the prime minister’s advice till 12pm on Tuesday (today).

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial had earlier in the day said the court would issue a “reasonable order” on the issue today. His remarks had come as a larger bench of the Supreme Court – comprising the CJP, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail — took up the matter.

During the proceedings, Justice Ahsan noted that there were violations in the proceedings of the no-trust resolution.

Justice Bandial observed that a debate before voting on the no-confidence motion had been clearly mentioned in the law but didn’t take place.

Meanwhile, Justice Akhtar questioned the deputy speaker’s constitutional authority to pass such a ruling.

“I don’t think the deputy speaker had the authority to pass such a ruling,” Justice Akhtar said, adding that only the speaker could do so.

“The deputy speaker only chairs the session on the non-availability of the speaker,” the judge said.

During his arguments, Farooq H. Naek, who was representing the PPP and other opposition parties, contended that the ‘threat letter’ on the basis of which the ruling was passed was never shown in parliament.

Here, the CJP observed that the deputy speaker’s ruling mentioned the meeting of the parliamentary committee for security. “The opposition deliberately didn’t attend the meeting,” he said, adding that the matter of the letter was put forth there.

“This needs to be answered by all political parties,” the CJP said, adding that the parliamentary committee meeting was important.

Naek pleaded the court to issue a verdict on the matter today, pointing out to the bench that the president had already asked for names to appoint as caretaker prime minister.

But Justice Ahsan said it was impossible to pass the verdict today, adding that the apex court’s decision would have far reaching outcomes. “We respect the opinions of political parties.”

 

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