Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan will announce the verdict on the petition filed against Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling in the Chief Minister Punjab election at 5:45 pm today (Tuesday).
A three-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, heard the case.
The hearing continued for three days.
At the outset of today’s hearing, During today’s hearing, Dost Mazari’s lawyer Irfan Qadir and the PPP’s lawyer Farooq H. Naek appeared before the court. The two counsels apprised the court of the decision of their clients to boycott the hearing.
CJP Justice Bandial remarked that the demand for the formation of a full court is a delaying tactic adding that the full court will only be available in the second week of September.
He asked the parties boycotting the court proceedings to show some grace.
The CJP said that “no legal” grounds were presented before the court; arguments were presented only regarding the party head’s directions; the court concluded that in the current case, there was no need for a full bench.
CJP Bandial said the real question was who could give directions to party lawmakers.
“The constitution clearly states that the parliamentary party will give directions to MPs,” he said.
“There is no need for further arguments in this case. We will give priority to wrapping up this case as soon as possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, the top court sought assistance on the matter relating to directions by the party head or a parliamentary party.
“Assist the court over the legal questions or we will set ourselves aside from the bench,” CJP Bandial told Barrister Ali Zafar, the counsel of Elahi.
Giving his arguments in the case, Zafar said that the petitions against the 21st Amendment were dismissed by a ratio of 13:4 in a full court
However, many judges gave different reasons for dismissing the petitions, he added.
Zafar told the court that the constitution mentions that the parliamentary party will give directions to the lawmakers about voting.
At this, the CJP questioned whether the party head and parliamentary party were two separate entities.
Zafar said that they were two separate entities.
CJP Bandial said that the parliamentary party does not may its decision on its own. In light of the political party’s directions, the parliamentary party makes its decision.
After being asked, the PML-Q counsel said that the world “parliamentary party” is used in the Political Parties Order 2002.
At this, Justice Ahsan remarked that the word “parliamentary leader” instead of “parliamentary party” is just a mistake.
Additional Attorney-General (AAG) Amir Rehman then came to the rostrum and said he wanted to present a few suggestions before the court.
CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial, after hearing the arguments of the respondents, remarked that the matter of interpreting Article 63A of the constitution has been settled, and there is no need for further interpretation.
He also praised AG Punjab for his efforts in the interpretation of the article but said his explanation was ‘wrong’.
Govt announces boycott of 3-member SC bench
Hours after seeing its request for a full bench in petitions related to the Punjab chief minister’s election turned down by the Supreme Court, leaders of the coalition government on Monday expressed their “lack of confidence” in the court’s existing three-member bench and announced it would boycott its proceedings in the case.
“Our lawyers recommended a [full court] bench but unfortunately, the bench, instead of reflecting and accepting our advice, rejected it,” said Pakistan Democratic Movement and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in a late-night press conference in Islamabad.
“Therefore, the allies of all parties want to give a clear stance that if [our request for a ] full court bench is rejected then we, too, reject this decision of the court. We will not appear before this bench for this case and will boycott it.
“We also want to say that there is a long history in this political system of such decisions by the judges that have created instability and destroyed the continuation of government policies, which has also created the economic crisis.
“This government wants no institution to interfere in the work that impacts the administrative functioning. Otherwise, we will advise the prime minister and the parliament to legislate so that the public’s trust in courts [could be restored].”
PDM demands formation of full court
Speaking during a press conference in Islamabad flanked by several leaders of the coalition government and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), including Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman, Maryam criticised the country’s justice system and said that whenever a petition is filed in a court of law, people already know which bench will be formed to hear that.
PMLQ’s Parvez Elahi moved to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Friday against the ruling of Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, which paved the way for Hamza Shehbaz to retain the seat of CM of Punjab.
On Friday, Punjab Assembly’s session took place to elect a new CM.
PTI and PMLQ’s candidate Chaudhry Pervez Elahi bagged 186 votes, while PMLN’s Hamza Shehbaz received 179 votes.
However, Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari discarded 10 votes cast in favour of Pervez Elahi by PMLQ members, citing that he had received a letter from PMLQ President Chaudhry Shujaat who through the letter directed them not to vote for PTI’s candidate.
Dost Muhammad Mazari said that he personally had contacted Chaudhry Shujaat to confirm the letter.
After this, the deputy speaker cited Article 63A of the Constitution and rejected 10 votes cast by PMLQ lawmakers.
PTI’s Raja Basharat engaged in a heated argument with Mazari and said that the deputy speaker could not disregard the 10 votes. He argued this was completely in contradiction with the Constitution of Pakistan which clearly states that it is the “parliamentary leader” and not the “party head” who takes the decision.
This eventually gave the win to Hamza Shehbaz who became the CM with the lead of only 3 votes.
After Mazari’s ruling, the leaders of the PTI and the PMLQ filed a petition against the CM Punjab election.